KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Police Officer Candidate cadets, who train and live at the Officer Candidate Academy on Camp Nathan Smith, Afghanistan for six months, carry with them the responsibility of securing Afghanistan.
The Afghan government and International Security Forces are in the process of transitioning responsibility for governance and security back to the people of Afghanistan.
“The country needs them so I believe they can [secure Afghanistan],” said Mohammed, an Officer Candidate cadet studying to become an officer in the Afghan Uniformed Police. “All the Afghans, [especially] the young generation, they are ready to take responsibility.”
At the forefront of this transition are agencies like the ANP, which fall under the Afghan National Security Forces who are comprised of the Afghan army and Afghan police.
“ANSF [runs] the majority of the patrols right now and those are independently led,” said Capt. Marlo Anderson, the ANSF development officer in charge for 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. “Probably about 162 Afghan patrols compared to 75 ISAF patrols, and those are all independent.”
The ability for the ANP to provide and maintain security has a lot to do with training ANP cadets must complete before being sent out to patrol.
“Here we learn criminal investigations, [counter] narcotics [and] anti terrorism,” said Hakmed, an officer candidate student studying to become an officer in the Afghan Uniformed Police. “This will help us outside of the academy. The main goal is to protect our country from our enemies.”
However, the job that follows graduation comes with many risks as Afghanistan continues its fight against a resilient enemy.
“Our country needs us to be a police officer,” said Mohammed. “We are the young generation so we have to help our people to stop the crime.”
Afghanistan still faces many challenges, but with the continued development of the ANSF, transitioning Afghanistan is possible.
The ANP cadets from Camp Nathan Smith are ready for the challenges ahead with hopes of bringing peace to their country.
“I want to bring security [to my] people and help them solve their problems,” said Mohammed. “God willing, [we] will. I believe [we] can, [we] are ready to take responsibility.”