Officials OK Afghan Detainee Vocational Program

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)

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