Afghanistan — Afghans, NATO Partners Build Trust in Uruzgan Province

KABUL, Afghanistan — Uruz­gan province offi­cials recent­ly opened an Afghan Nation­al Police sub­sta­tion near Golkhaneh vil­lage to pro­vide the pop­u­la­tion a tan­gi­ble sym­bol of gov­ern­ment near the Tan­gi val­ley, an area of insur­gent activ­i­ty.

The sub­sta­tion, a per­ma­nent police post with a van­tage point over the provin­cial cap­i­tal of Tarin Kowt, has facil­i­ties for 40 police­men.

It is the fourth of 10 planned police sub­sta­tions which con­tribute to the increas­ing pro­fes­sion­al­ism of the Afghan Nation­al Police and the build­ing of greater trust between res­i­dents and the Afghan gov­ern­ment in this south­ern province, accord­ing to Dutch Brigadier Kees Van den Heuv­el, Task Force Uruz­gan com­man­der.

“Bet­ter trained and pro­fes­sion­al police­men on the streets will increase secu­ri­ty,” Van den Heuv­el said.

Pro­vid­ing increased secu­ri­ty, some­thing asked for dur­ing near­ly every dis­cus­sion with local Afghan lead­ers, also builds the Afghans’ faith in the gov­ern­ment to pro­vide them with pro­tec­tion, accord­ing to Army 1st. Lt. Phil Cera­mi, who works with the Tarin Kowt Dis­trict Afghan police.

“Coali­tion forces [Dutch and US] work­ing with the ANP is impor­tant to show our com­mit­ment to the improve­ment and devel­op­ment of this province,” Cera­mi said. “What is more impor­tant is that they are the ones who will be here through­out the future.

“For the res­i­dents to see their friends and fam­i­ly tak­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty for their safe­ty as ANP, it sheds some light on how much progress can be made in a short peri­od of time as long as we work togeth­er,” Cera­mi added.

Deputy Civil­ian Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Johan Ver­boom attend­ed the sub­sta­tion open­ing. Ver­boome said secu­ri­ty is the cor­ner­stone of devel­op­ment.

“If it is safe on the streets, kids can go to school and they have a future,” he said. “Dutch forces will leave here, but ISAF will stay and help with the fur­ther devel­op­ment of Uruz­gan.”

Amer­i­can para­troop­ers of Com­pa­ny D, 1st Bat­tal­ion, 508th Para­chute Infantry Reg­i­ment, 4th Brigade Com­bat Team, 82nd Air­borne Divi­sion, are respon­si­ble for the men­tor­ing and advis­ing of the Afghan Nation­al Police post­ed in Uruz­gan.

The men­tors gave praise to the ANP and local lead­ers dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mo­ny.

“Your role in secu­ri­ty often goes unrec­og­nized — none of this would be pos­si­ble with­out you and your sup­port,” Army Capt. John Thomas, com­man­der of Com­pa­ny D, told local Afghan lead­ers. “We are here to help make this great coun­try and proud peo­ple feel safe so that your chil­dren can have a brighter future. I am hon­ored to work with the ANP and be a part of your lives, and I thank you for your sup­port.”

Thomas said he and his troops will con­tin­ue to assist the police­men at the sub­sta­tion and help build capac­i­ty with the ANP on var­i­ous skills includ­ing patrolling, security/defensive oper­a­tions, and com­mu­ni­ty polic­ing tech­niques.

“The key aspect of the mis­sion is to facil­i­tate the growth of a self-sus­tain­ing force that per­forms more like police and less like mil­i­tary,” Thomas said. “The res­i­dents want them there and the ANP on the ground have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to build rela­tion­ships and con­nect with the peo­ple.”

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es