News: Romanian advising contingent transfers authority
KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — The third Romanian Gendarmerie contingent to advise Afghan National Police training staff in southern Afghanistan assumed command from the second Romanian Gendarmerie contingent during a transfer of authority ceremony at the Kandahar Regional Training Center, May 16.
This assumption of command was part of a standard rotation in support of a NATO Training Mission (Afghanistan) objective to advise ANP training staff on the development of the Afghan National Police in Kandahar and Spin Boldak.
The out-going advisor to the Kandahar Regional Training Center commander, Romanian Gendarmerie Lt. Col. Florian Panainte, said the last six months working with both his NATO and Afghan colleagues was a great experience.
“I really feel we had a lot to learn from each other,” said Panainte. “We’ve had a constant exchange of opinions and I’m very proud that we could contribute to the greater goal of turning Afghanistan into a safe and stable country.”
“Probably the most difficult challenge was to establish the thin line between doing things for the Afghans and letting them manage their own problems,” continued Panainte. “Getting the ANP staff to use and control its own resources and people for handling processes at the Kandahar Regional Training Center was difficult, but I think we were able to find the best solutions for each particular situation.”
During the transfer of authority ceremony, Kandahar Regional Training Center commander, Brig. Gen. Nasrullah Zarifi, expressed his thanks to the departing Romanian contingent.
“I can talk for hours on all the good things the Romanians have done here,” said Zarifi. “My instructors and the police recruits are grateful for the guidance the Romanian advisors provided in order to help us have a great future. I’m glad to have worked with Panainte and look forward to working with his relief, Lt. Col. Viorel Matei.”
Romanian Gendarmerie Maj. Gabriel Oanta, senior advisor to the ANP training site commander in Spin Boldak, credited the strong rapport his team developed with the Afghan staff to some of the successes he’s seen during his tour.
“We quickly learned to understand the Afghan culture,” expressed Oanta. “Having a good relationship with our Afghan counterparts was the key element to building their confidence on training recruits and young policemen on every training activity.”
“I’ve heard good things about the performance of the new policemen in the operational force,” Oanta went on to say. “This is a reflection of the quality of training received from their Afghan instructors.”
Romanian Gendarmerie Capt. Claudiu Cotet, the on-coming advisor to Spin Boldak’s Police Training Center commander, is expecting some minor obstacles to occur during his tour, but he’s ready to guide the Afghans in overcoming those.
“Right now, we’re a link between the training of the future Afghan National Police force and solving whatever problems that may come in accomplishing that,” Cotet said. “In order to remove us from the link, I plan to guide the Afghans through their problem-solving techniques because eventually they’ll have to manage their issues by themselves and take total control of all training operation aspects.”
According to Panainte, the ANP staff is capable of accomplishing this.
“What I’ve seen here are people eager to learn from the experiences and knowledge of the coalition counterparts and willing to become better professionals,” added Panainte. “It makes me optimistic about the future of the ANP. They are definitely on the right course and have developed some skilled leaders. I’m sure the ANP will play a crucial role in the stability of Afghanistan and will prove itself up to the challenges it will have to face.
Date Posted:05.17.2012 12:49
Location:KANDAHAR PROVINCE, AF
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