UK — Training the Afghan Police in Helmand

On his first deploy­ment to Afghanistan, Lieu­tenant Antony Raine is play­ing a key role in enabling the Afghan secu­ri­ty forces to pro­vide long term secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty in their coun­try them­selves.

Helmand Police Training Centre in Lashkar Gah
Recruits in train­ing at the Hel­mand Police Train­ing Cen­tre in Lashkar Gah
Source: Cor­po­ral Gary Kendall RLC, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The enabling of the Afghan secu­ri­ty forces is a key part of NATO’s strat­e­gy in Afghanistan. The soon­er the Afghans can take respon­si­bil­i­ty for their own secu­ri­ty and car­ry out secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions with­out the need for ISAF sup­port, the soon­er British forces can come home.

The lat­est fig­ures, released this month, show that 134,000 Afghan sol­diers and 106,000 Afghan police have been trained by ISAF forces, putting NATO ahead of sched­ule for achiev­ing its tar­get of 171,000 ful­ly-trained sol­diers and 134,000 police by the end of 2011.

Amongst the British sol­diers involved in this area is Lieu­tenant Antony Raine, from the Queen’s Roy­al Lancers, who is cur­rent­ly com­mand­ing a troop of 15 British sol­diers involved in train­ing 160 Afghan Nation­al Police (ANP) patrol­men in tac­tics, med­ical skills, marks­man­ship (shoot­ing) and counter-IED drills.

The Queen’s Roy­al Lancers have deployed to Afghanistan with the mis­sion of train­ing hun­dreds of ANP at the Hel­mand Police Train­ing Cen­tre (HPTC) in Lashkar Gah.

Lieu­tenant Raine, aged 26, com­mis­sioned into the Queen’s Roy­al Lancers — a for­ma­tion recon­nais­sance reg­i­ment — in 2008, hav­ing spent a year at the Roy­al Mil­i­tary Acad­e­my Sand­hurst.

This is his first oper­a­tional tour with B Squadron and he and his troop have trained 250 recruits to date, who are now deployed at var­i­ous check­points around Hel­mand province.

Lieu­tenant Raine has also spent some time with the ANP in their dis­tricts and has seen first-hand the ben­e­fits of the train­ing that the Queen’s Roy­al Lancers are deliv­er­ing at the HPTC. He said:

“The train­ing we are giv­ing these recruits is like noth­ing they will have expe­ri­enced before.

“The marked dif­fer­ence in per­for­mance between those trained at the HPTC and those that have not is quite extra­or­di­nary.

“I’ve seen first-hand recruits that I have trained engage with the local com­mu­ni­ty with pro­fes­sion­al­ism and author­i­ty.

“Whilst we also give them the skills to take on the Tal­iban, I believe we are rebuild­ing an insti­tu­tion that has pride in its uni­form and most impor­tant­ly will earn the respect of its peo­ple.”

For more on the Train­ing and Men­tor­ing mis­sion in Afghanistan see Relat­ed Links, and to read more about the Hel­mand Police Train­ing Cen­tre see Relat­ed News.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK

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