News: Afghan females climb Uniform Police ranks
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Theanne Tangen
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A group of Afghan women became leaders in the Afghan Uniformed Police force at Combat Outpost Justice, Sept. 5, as the first female group to complete the advanced AUP course in Gardez.
Spc. Simone Ramsey, of Chicago and Spc. Brittany Kabe, of Flagstaff, Ariz., U.S. Army Female Engagement Team, 4th Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Currahee), spent time speaking with the 10 women about their new role in the AUP before presenting them with certificates of appreciation. The certificate recognizes their commitment to the protection and security of the citizens of Paktya province.
These Afghan women are the first to climb the ranks of the Afghan Uniform Police by completing the eight-week training course where they learned infantry tactics, conducted personnel searches and fired the M9 pistol and AK-47 rifle.
“Our family feels proud of us,” said one female student. “We want to build our country. Other countries are helping us win. We have to stand on our own feet.”
These woman are the first females to be placed in a leadership position. Each of these females will have eight to 10 other AUP officers following their lead.
Kabe asked the women if they are confident in their ability to lead others.
“I am studying more so I can achieve a high rank and so I can teach others,” said a female student. “We had good training, we understand everything and we are getting better. I am confident.”
According to Col. Abdughani Totakhil, commander of the Paktya Province Police Adminstration, these women are a valuable asset to the success of Afghanistan.
“If there is something going on in a house, or if there is a suspected woman, these AUP females can easily search them and they are allowed to go in the house,” said Totakhil.
The Police Adminstration’s goal is to have more than 100 female Afghan Uniform Police by the end of 2014.
During the meeting one woman mentioned how dedicated she is to expanding the number of women in the AUP.
“We support our country,” said a female student. “We support our people. We will expand the number of women in the AUP. I will have my kids join the military. I left my 40-day-old baby at home to come here.”
One by one the new AUPs saluted and shook hands with the U.S. Army Engagement Team, their AUP instructors and Col. Abdughani Totakhil. The AUP then held up their certificates and exclaimed, “I am proud to support Afghanistan.”