KABUL, Afghanistan - Provincial Response Companies of the Afghan Ministry of Interior throughout (SPUs) eastern Afghanistan are reaching full-operational-capability with the help of their coalition special operations force mentors.
The Provincial Response Companies, specially selected members of the Afghan National Police at the provincial level are small Afghan tactical police units within selected eastern and southern provinces of Afghanistan that employ advanced techniques, such as close-quarters-battle.
These highly-trained units have more robust capabilities and equipment - much like a SWAT team - to allow them to conduct high-risk, complex operations.
Provincial Response Companies are the Afghan force of choice for complex, high-risk missions that include:
• High-risk arrests: this mission includes serving nationally-based warrants for known insurgents and attack facilitators.
• Hostage rescue
• Security patrols
• Recovery operations: Provincial Response Companies are trained to conduct cache recoveries of munitions and homemade explosives
• Sensitive site exploitation: that the ordinary AUP is not trained or equipped to do in order to exploit the scene of an operation for forensic evidence.
First, all Provincial Response Company troopers complete the same basic training as all Afghan Uniform Police officers. Additionally, Provincial Response Company troopers undergo a special selection and training course following the, Afghan National Police Patrolman’s course. Then, Provincial Response Company troopers next attend an additional six-week course for advanced techniques where they are introduced to CQB and other tactics, techniques and procedures, to include advanced patrolling, which forms a foundation to allow them to join an operational Provincial Response Company.
Once Provincial Response Company troopers arrive at their assigned PRC, they continue training and refining their skills within their Provincial Response Companies based upon each PRC’s standard operating procedures. Only after troopers are validated for operational readiness are they allowed to conduct high-risk operations as a member of their assigned Provincial Response Company.
Mentors to Provincial Response Companies
Mentors for the PRCs have been drawn from members of the coalition’s special operations forces within NATO Special Operations Component Command, Afghanistan. These trainers and mentors look for every opportunity to ensure their Afghan Provincial Response Company troopers lead from the front.
The Provincial Response Companies are partnered with special operators made up of U.S. and European (NATO) SOF, including Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. Other NATO SOF contributions are also currently under consideration.
All of the Provincial Response Companies in the seven provinces of eastern Afghanistan that are currently partnered with coalition SOF are now able to operate using 90-percent Afghan manpower when they roll-out for an operation and more often than not, even more.
The Provincial Response Companies are making a difference and achieving results that will have lasting effects throughout Afghanistan and in the eastern part of the country, in particular they are producing significant returns, include most notably the arrest of the high-level threat facilitator and financier, Najibullah Rahimi in Kapisa and the Wardak province attack facilitator, Juma Gul.
Most recently, in Laghman province, the Laghman Provincial Response Company conducted a highly successful operation to clear the eastern bank of the Alingar River. This operation was conducted based upon locally gathered, actionable intelligence, in close coordination with other ANSF agencies to include the Afghan National Police, ANA, AUP, ALP and NDS.
During the course of the operation, twelve suspected insurgents were killed when they engaged ANSF elements. Additionally, another 24 suspected insurgents were wounded and twelve were taken into custody. The operation yielded the capture of Homemade Explosive, munitions and 21 kg of black-tar opium, as well.
In Nangarhar province, the Provincial Response Company was able to uncover 350 pounds of Homemade Explosive in an operation recently. The volatile substance was found spread out to dry from a paste into a powder as the Provincial Response Company troopers searched the rooftop of a local Jalalabad residence, right in the heart of the community.
Next, in Wardak province, just to the west of the Afghan capital city of Kabul, Provincial Response Company Wardak, just a few days prior to the Nangarhar operation, conducted a cache recovery operation which successfully yielded three rounds of deadly 107mm recoilless-rifle ammunition.
In addition to the recoiless-rifle rounds, AK-47s, along with magazines and ammunition, a PKM light-machine-gun and narcotics were also seized. All of which were being secretly stockpiled in preparation for the upcoming summer fighting season and more than likely destined to be used in deadly attacks planned to be carried out within the capital.
Finally, in Kunar province, the Provincial Response Company, in close coordination with other local ANSF partners, recently conducted bilateral rotary wing, hot and cold load-training with the Special Mission Wing of the Afghan Air Force at the helicopter landing zone at FOB Joyce using one of the SMW’s Mi-17 Utility Helicopters.
This training opportunity was complex and thoroughly coordinated and clearly demonstrates that although the Provincial Response Company is one of the newest members of the Afghan National Security team, it has what it takes to be a serious force to be reckoned with. The Provincial Response Companies are proof that Afghans are serious about standing on their own two feet.