Soldiers Mentor Afghan Police in All-Night Exercise
KABUL, Afghanistan - Picture this: one evening, insurgents attack a high-rise apartment building in the eastern part of the city. Then, at a checkpoint in the northern sector, they strike a blow with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, followed by an attack at a high-rise commercial building.
Finally, they try a mass prison break at the country's largest prison, where hundreds of Taliban are held.
Although it may sound like an untenable situation for Afghan National Security Forces, during this all-night training exercise, law enforcement officers from the Minister of Interior's police units came together and quelled the simulated attack on the city.
International Security Assistance Force troops have steadily moved the Afghan National Security Forces closer toward taking complete responsibility for the security of the country. Training like this, which is overseen by ISAF, better prepares the ANSF for accepting responsibility as time draws closer to 2014 and a smaller international force in Afghanistan.
As part of that security transition mission, Task Force Centurion, which comprises Army National Guard Soldiers from Texas, New Jersey and Georgia Guard mentors and provides direction to ANSF officers in 30 police districts around Kabul and to the ANSF quick reaction force. The 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, a Texas-based Army National Guard unit played a role in the recent insurgent attack exercise, especially.
"The overall goals for all coalition mentors were to see and give feedback on their command and control techniques, their crisis resolution tactics and their evidence-gathering procedures," said Maj. Calvin Jenkins, Task Force Centurion Police Advisory Team officer-in-charge.
In a real-world incidents last month, insurgents twice attacked police offices in Kabul. Each attack consisted of multiple suicide bombers, explosions and gunfire-a real-world crisis during the middle of planning for the exercise. During last month's attacks, Afghan police led a coordinated response, while Task Force Centurion police mentors maintained contact with the Afghan officers and provided support when called upon.
"The training scenario is very similar to a real-world attack in Kandahar nearly two years ago," Jenkins said. "The insurgents attacked multiple locations at the same time. Now, the police are better in their response to attacks."
One reason the police are more effective in their response is a new crisis response plan that establishes a command and control system that delineates levels of responsibility among the various police agencies.
"The best way to describe the system's three levels of responsibility is that one group decides who needs to do it, another decides how it's done, and the last gets it done," Jenkins said.
After the exercise, Gen. Mohammad Farooq, a Kabul Police District Chief said, "We have developed drills to respond to many crises. The coalition forces have worked hard with the ANSF. They have helped us become stronger and more able to take over security in Afghanistan."
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