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Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mills, commander of Regional Command Southwest, and Helmand Provincial Governor Gulab Mangal listen to a brief during the fifth Afghan Uniformed Police Recruitment Conference, Aug. 9, at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. The meeting was held in order to discuss the progress being made in increasing the number of Afghan policemen throughout Helmand province.

Photo by Cpl. Brian Gabriel

Afghan, Marine leadership discuss Afghan Uniformed Police recruitment numbers

9 Aug 2010 | Cpl. Brian Gabriel Jr.

Afghan and Marine leadership met to discuss the progress being made in increasing the number of Afghan policemen throughout Helmand province.

The Afghan uniformed police recruitment conference was held between Afghan and Marine leadership, hosted by Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mills, commander of Regional Command Southwest, and Helmand Provincial Governor Gulab Mangal here Aug. 9. It was the fifth time such a meeting took place in the continued effort to train more Afghan police.

Mills began the conference by affirming the recruitment goals set at the previous AUP recruitment conference were met.

“We’ve been fairly successful,” Mills said. “We have almost 200 policemen now in Marjah. They have equipment, and they have life-support systems in place to be able to live.”

Lt. Col. Gerard Wynn, Joint Security Academy Southwest director, added that new policemen are still being trained at Camp Leatherneck and will be working throughout Helmand province in the near future.

Dereck Hogan, U.S. senior civilian representative for RC(SW), shared observations about the positive rapport between policemen and the local community during a recent trip to Marjah.

“For a Friday, the [Loy Chareh bazaar] was really busy and a lot of shops were open,” Hogan said. “One of the things I observed in every interaction with shop owners, as well with customers, was the high rate of approval that the police had.”

Mangal was pleased with the current status of the police force in Marjah. Mills also told Mangal additional logistical support for the Marjah police force is currently on the way. He proposed to give Marjah policemen motorcycles in order to ensure better response time and ease transportation.

Mills also reaffirmed coalition commitment to Marjah residents to safeguard them from Taliban threats.

“We are confident in the commitment of the police already serving in Marjah,” Mills said. “We know that the city will continue to improve and will serve as an example of Afghan success.”