By Navy Lt. Neil Myers
Special to American Forces Press Service
Aug. 11, 2008 - After completing a 10-day basic training course followed by three years on-the-job training, Afghan National Auxiliary Police officers can convert to be regular Afghan National Police officers. Their last hurdle is to complete a three-week continuation course taught by coalition Police Training and Advisory Team instructors. Forty-one auxiliary officers graduated from the Camp Wright continuation course Aug. 7. The Konar Provincial Reconstruction Team, based at Camp Wright, runs the only Afghan National Auxiliary Police sustainment training in the region. To date, sailors from the Konar PRT have provided instruction to more than 500 auxiliary officers.
Afghans who are currently serving as National Auxiliary Police officers will see the auxiliary program phase out Oct. 1. Attending sustainment training at the Konar PRT is a crucial piece of training required for these officers to convert from auxiliary officers to Afghan National Police prior to the October deadline.
"Completion of this course will mean these brave ANAP officers will continue to have a job protecting their country from insurgents come October," said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Ramirez, the Konar PRT Police Training and Advisory Team NCO in charge.
The ceremony was attended by the Konar PRT's executive officer, and Konar's police chief, anti-terrorism chief and education minister.
Abdul Zahir, Konar's education minister, addressed the officers at the graduation ceremony. He told them to resist corruption and serve bravely and honorably.
Maj. John Barfels, Konar PRT's executive officer, also praised the new officers and challenged them to serve with honor.
"I congratulate you for taking on this very important duty as Afghan National Auxiliary Police officers," Barfels said. "I know that you will serve your village, your districts, your province and your country with honor."
Konar's Police chief, Gen. Abdul Jalal, also had words for the new officers.
"You must all be honest and root out corruption," he said. "I am very happy with the quality of the Police officers graduating from the PTAT program."
(Navy Lt. Neil Myers is assigned to the Konar Provincial Reconstruction Team.)