The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), as part of the transition, has been transferring the management of key security institutions to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). A recent example of this successful process is the handover of the Police Training Centre-North (PTCN).
Located in Mazar-e Sharif, capital of Balkh province, the centre was built and run by ISAF. But as the ANSF improved their capabilities in training and management, the centre was recently handed over to Afghan forces. However, the international forces will continue their support to ANSF in various sectors of professionalism.
The PTCN was established by merging four training facilities in 2010. Since then, nearly 9,000 ANSF personnel have been trained at the centre. Over time, its capacity has also increased; currently it can train up to 1,400 police cadets at one time.
“At the moment, we have more than 500 male and female students from the Afghan National Police and the Afghan Border Police, 15 of them are female officers. We have more than 80 Afghan instructors, who have Masters or at least Bachelor degrees. They are also assisted and mentored by German advisors,” Colonel Abdul Rahman Haqtash, PTCN commander, said.
Shekiba Habibzai is one of the female students at the centre. The training she has been enrolled in will prepare her to work at the international airport in Mazar-e Sharif.
“I joined the ANP training centre three months ago. In the basic training, we are given lessons in driving, weapon handling, rules of engagement and working in checkpoints. Then there are special courses where we learn, for instance, how to verify passports at the airport,” Habibzai said.
She also appreciates the presence of foreign instructors during the training.
“When our teachers work together with international instructors, I think it benefits the students as well. Especially in my case, when deployed at the airport, I feel more confident because I was trained in contemporary security measures,” she added.
When the international community came to Afghanistan for the first time in 2001, the main problem was the lack of professional and educated security forces. ISAF helped the government of Afghanistan in establishing the ANSF. Modern training centres were built around the country, which serve as the foundation of the national security forces.
The joint venture is still ongoing: peace and security are provided by the Afghan forces, while the international community continues to assist, advise and train them.