News: Camp Parsa Regional Training Center handles influx of 194 AUP trainees
Story by Pfc. Christopher McKenna
KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – At a time where a military and police presence is needed throughout Afghanistan, Afghan leaders have stepped up recruiting, resulting in hundreds of new recruits in basic training.
So many in fact, that 194 Afghan Uniform Police trainees are currently conducting their training at Camp Parsa’s Regional Training Center, a temporary facility here, set up to handle additional trainee’s who cannot be accommodated through the regular training areas.
The training, covering basic tactical elements such as marksmanship, cordon and search, entering and clearing rooms, how to arrest individuals and how to set up an ambush, is conducted by Afghan instructors with U.S. counterparts providing oversight.
“They send the instructors with the students to the classes,” said AUP 1st Lt. Mohammad Hilal, AUP trainer from the Gardez RTC. “Many districts are represented through this training.”
Many of the trainers come from different districts. While some are from the Khost area, many of the students and instructors end up wherever the Gardez RTC decides they will train or instruct. Hilal, one of the current instructors, is from Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
U.S. forces help facilitate the Afghan-led training by providing instructional assistance in most areas, said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Pratt from Muskogee, Okla., RTC instructional assistant with 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.
AUP basic training consists of classroom and practical exercises covering everything from the Afghan Constitution through arrest techniques, crime scene containment, survivability and basic light infantry tactics.
“We are here to share our knowledge and experience when it comes to training,” Pratt said. “We are the experts at the light infantry [skills] and weapons training.”
The U.S. Soldiers also provide logistical expertise through the courses, handling contractual obligations and ensuring the Afghan trainers are supplied with what they need to be successful.
“We do everything we can to make sure the Afghans have enough time and are equipped with the proper materials to train,” Pratt said.
Given the proper materials the AUP trainees are able to accomplish all tasks through the course in order to make it to graduation day.
Immediately following graduation, trainees receive the needed materials, specifically their body armor and helmets, to accomplish their newly-assigned mission.
Actually getting trainees through all required events prior to graduation sometimes can be challenging, Hilal said.
“We try to get everyone through who comes to training, but sometimes there are issues we cannot move past,” Hilal said.
During the six-week course, each recruit must pass weekly skills assessment tests. To graduate, they must be able to qualify on an AK-47 rifle and pass the tactical and classroom portions of the course.
Even though only the top candidates progress through the course, they must meet physical requirements to join the AUP. Candidates must be between 18 and 35 years old and not be shorter than five feet.
They also must be able to pass a medical physical, ensuring they have no disease and are not addicted to drugs.
Once all requirements are met, recruits are admitted to training and their six-week basic training cycle will begin, Hilal said.
“This is really good training,” Pratt said. “Here we are actually able to get [a] hands on feel and help guide the level and amount of training actually being done.”