|Afghan National Police Gen. Sharifa presents a graduation certificate to a graduate of the Women's Police Corps Non-Commissioned Officer Course Aug. 9, 2012 at Regional Training Centre-West, in Herat Province, Afghanistan. (Air Force photo by TSgt April Wickes)
The Afghan National Police-Women's Police Corps recently graduated 13 female non commissioned officers from its inaugural course at a ceremony held at Regional Training Centre-West on Aug.9.
More than 100 personnel attended the ceremony, including several honoured guests like Afghan National Police Gen. Sharifa from the Ministry of Interior, Maria Bashir, Appeals Court Prosecutor for Herat Province, and U.S. Army Col. Keith Detwiler, Regional Support Command-West commander, along with many Afghan National Police and Coalition Forces personnel. The 16-week course at Regional Training Centre-West, was the inaugural course for the Herat Region, and was designed to introduce leadership skills and advanced police tactics to experienced Women's Police Corps Officers. It provides a single, all inclusive advanced skills instruction in professional policing, police survivability, and first line supervisory skills to Afghan National Police graduates of the basic 8-week Police course. Course Lead Instructor Andrea Navar said, "this course will provide students with the skills necessary to provide improved leadership to those under their supervision, make them more of a valuable asset to their command and the ANP, as well as provide them the skills to operate with minimal supervision themselves.”
The course curriculum included first line leadership, criminalistics, logistics, conflict resolution and advanced tactics such as movements and building clearing. Participants also learned advanced weaponry on machine guns and rocket propelled grenades, studied police law, women's rights in Afghan law, and advanced First Aid. Navar reiterated the course's significance by saying, "these policewomen are the softer side of the Afghan National Police. When they go into homes, families prefer when female police officers go in first to speak with the families, and to search them if necessary.”
Sharifa, a 33-year veteran of police and government, congratulated the newly graduated officers, and emphasized the importance of their mission saying "you contribute to the day to day security of this nation. You work "shohna ba shohna” (shoulder to shoulder) with our Afghan men and Coalition partners. As women, we need to help our country and participate in the security of our great nation.”
Bashir reinforced that message to the graduates as well. "Female police officers are needed in Islamic law to arrest and search women, homes, and schools.” Bashir went further, by challenging the women, "there's an Afghan saying: you're not given your right, you need to go after your right – by constructing and securing your country. Afghanistan should not be constructed only by men. Women need to contribute and do their part, and that's what you're doing by graduating from this course, but don't stop there. Go after your right and show that we are free, go after it, and take your right any way possible.”
Also attending the ceremony was Detwiler, commander of RSC-West, who said, "It is an honour to attend this great ceremony. Your service to Afghanistan will strengthen your bond with the community. I thank you for your service, and for your commitment to the Nation of Afghanistan.”
One of the graduates, ANP Sgt. Azeta Amiri, is well aware of the significance of her achievement, and her mission. "One of my dreams is to serve the people of Afghanistan, and to help families and children. Men can't search females in homes. Before, with the Taliban, females couldn't go to school, the bazaar, but now I can serve in the police as a non commissioned officer for a better future, by securing the people of Afghanistan.”
NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan is a coalition of 38 troop contributing nations assisting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in generating a capable and sustainable Afghan National Security Force ready to take lead of their country's security by 2014.