Afghanistan — 1,000th recruit passes out of British-run Helmand Police Training Centre

The 1,000th Afghan Police­man passed out of the British-run Hel­mand Police Train­ing Cen­tre (HPTC) last week.

Afghan National Police recruits from both the basic and non-commissioned officer patrolman's course parade after an exercise
Afghan Nation­al Police recruits from both the basic and non-com­mis­sioned offi­cer patrolman’s course parade after an exer­cise
Source: Cor­po­ral Bar­ry Lloyd, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The 1,000th man to pass out of the cen­tre was Patrol­man Hay­at­ul­lah, son of Pan­ji, a Turk­man from Shin­dak, who began train­ing in May 2010 and passed out on 14 July 2010.

Like all recruits, before Hay­at­ul­lah could even begin police train­ing he was reg­is­tered at Police Head­quar­ters, bio­met­ri­cal­ly screened, med­ical­ly assessed and drug test­ed.

He was then tak­en to the new train­ing cen­tre out­side Lashkar Gah, which opened in Decem­ber 2009, to join his pla­toon and begin train­ing imme­di­ate­ly.

As one of an intake of 153, Hay­at­ul­lah was trained by Troop­er Daniel Sim­net and Cor­po­ral Orville Palmer of B Squadron, The Queen’s Roy­al Lancers, and by sub­ject mat­ter experts from the US Marines and the UK Min­istry of Defence Police Force.

Troop­er Daniel Sim­net, who has taught him­self Dari whilst at the HPTC, said:

“I real­ly enjoy teach­ing the lessons, it’s hard work but it is good to be able to teach them skills that will help save their lives when they fin­ish.

“It’s reward­ing when they pass out and return to come and see you, and they are still smart and pro­fes­sion­al police, it gives you con­fi­dence that they are mak­ing a real dif­fer­ence on the ground.”

Parade of Afghan National Police recruits who have successfully completed their training
Parade of Afghan Nation­al Police recruits who have suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed their train­ing
Source: Cor­po­ral Bar­ry Lloyd, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

After his first three weeks of basic train­ing, Hay­at­ul­lah found his train­ing advanc­ing and becom­ing more com­plex as the train­ing teams com­bine real­is­tic train­ing exer­cis­es, includ­ing deploy­ments on to route 601 in Lashkar Gah, the main access between Lashkar Gah and Kan­da­har.

Work­ing from a check­point, the recruits learn the vital skill of com­mu­ni­cat­ing effec­tive­ly with the locals they will even­tu­al­ly be sent out to pro­tect.

The recruits are also trained in lit­er­a­cy. The pro­gramme deliv­ered at HPTC has been designed to raise read­ing lev­els of recruits so they can accu­rate­ly process evi­dence and con­duct essen­tial basic admin­is­tra­tion.

The course there­fore gives recruits the chance to bet­ter them­selves — more than just a polic­ing tool it is a mat­ter of pride.

Cor­po­ral Orville Palmer said:

“The odd thing about Hay­at­ul­lah was that at the begin­ning he was­n’t the strongest recruit, but by the end of the course he ful­ly under­stood his role as a police­man and the pride and excite­ment he had about return­ing to help pro­tect his com­mu­ni­ty was real­ly hum­bling.

“It soon became clear that he had a quick mind and he was even found teach­ing some of his friends dur­ing the evening, which was real­ly reward­ing for us as his instruc­tors.”

Afghan National Police recruits taking part in an exercise perform casualty drills in a mock Bazaar
Afghan Nation­al Police recruits tak­ing part in an exer­cise per­form casu­al­ty drills in a mock Bazaar
Source: Cor­po­ral Bar­ry Lloyd, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

Major Ben Horne, Offi­cer Com­mand­ing the HPTC, said:

“The improve­ment I have seen in Hay­at­ul­lah is not unique, all of his col­leagues have left the HPTC with the skills they need to be police­men in the com­pli­cat­ed and dif­fi­cult envi­ron­ment of Hel­mand.

“Above all they leave proud of their own achieve­ments and with a sense of pride in the ANP. It is this sense of pro­fes­sion­al dis­ci­pline and pride that will help them to remain focussed and car­ry out the lessons they have learnt [at HPTC] back in their com­mu­ni­ties.

“The progress we see recruits mak­ing here at the HPTC is result­ing in the ANP being seen as the source of secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty for the peo­ple of Hel­mand, capa­ble of tack­ling the insur­gency and fur­ther rein­forc­ing the ANP’s sta­tus in soci­ety.”

The pass­ing out cer­e­mo­ny last week saw 409 fel­low police­men on the square along­side Hay­at­ul­lah and was attend­ed by the Hel­mand Gov­er­nor, Gulab Man­gal, British Ambas­sador Sir William Patey, Major Gen­er­al Nick Carter, and Major Gen­er­al Richard Mills.

They saw Patrol­man Hay­at­ul­lah and his col­leagues accept their cer­tifi­cates before depart­ing to their dis­tricts. Hay­at­ul­lah has now deployed to Nowzad in the north of Hel­mand.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK