KABUL, Afghanistan, April 5, 2011 — The Afghan Ministry of Defense and the U.S. task force charged with the rule of law mission in Afghanistan signed a memorandum of agreement today at the Ministry of Defense, establishing a vocational training program for selected insurgents who agree to renounce the insurgency.
Afghan Maj. Gen. Nooristani, general counsel for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, and Navy Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward, Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 commander, signed the agreement before dozens of Afghan and U.S. officials during the opening session of the Ministry of Defense Rule of Law conference.
The memorandum establishes an agreement under which the task force will create a rehabilitation program focused on teaching vocational and construction skills to eligible detainees being held at the detention facility at Parwan.
“This memorandum certifies that the associated project, namely vocational training for detainees at the DFIP, meets the principles and intent of the Afghanistan Reintegration Program and supports Afghan-led reintegration efforts,” Harward said. “Vocational training for detainees provides them skills and options so they can live long, peaceful lives.” The program supports the intent of the Afghanistan Reintegration Program, which is designed to peacefully assimilate insurgent fighters who have officially renounced support of the insurgency. The program will offer vocational training to provide detainees with transferable skills prior to release.
The memorandum calls on the Afghan government to sustain the vocational program following formal transition of detainee operations at the Parwan facility to Afghan control, providing members for the limited review board to assess detainees’ suitability for the program. Additionally, the Afghan Ministry of Education will provide appropriate points of contact to identify certified vocational instructors, approved educational programs, approved textbooks in the Pashto and Dari languages, and issue a certificate of completion for each detainee who graduates from this program.
The reintegration directorate provides literacy and vocational training to eligible detainees. Participants may learn a trade in tailoring, agriculture or baking, taught through the reintegration directorate. Detainees also are offered a civics class, which is taught in a shura environment by Afghan instructors and includes dialogue between the students and teacher. These courses allow detainees to develop skills that will enable them to be contributing members of their villages upon their release and reintegration.
The Parwan dentention facility is located several kilometers from Bagram Air Field. The design of the facility accommodates detainee reintegration efforts and enables the task force to better align detention operations with the overall strategy to defeat the extremist insurgency in Afghanistan.
CJIATF-435 includes combined and interagency partners. Among its many missions, the task force has oversight for detention operations in Afghanistan, including care and custody of detainees, full implementation of detainee review procedures, and vocational and educational programs designed to facilitate the peaceful reintegration of detainees into society.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)