CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan --
Marjah residents can expect increased security in their local community thanks to the newly-graduated Afghan policemen of Joint Security Academy Southwest.
Eight graduates are slated for duty in Marjah. The class of 32 policemen graduated Aug. 11 from the academy located at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.
Some of Afghanistan’s newest police officers will soon patrol the streets of the city to support the continuing effort to increase the approximate 200-man police force in Marjah.
“I joined the police in order to make Marjah a better place to live,” said Policeman Khaliqdad, class commander. “I am very happy that I was trained here by Marines. And I am very happy that I am heading back to Marjah to help my country and my people.”
U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Travis E. Gitthens, team officer-in-charge, said the Marjah police force is in the early growth stages. Gitthens said the eight policemen headed for Marjah have a lot of weight on their shoulders. However, he expressed his full confidence in the policing abilities of his former students to keep their local communities safe from Taliban influence.
“They’ve retained the information we’ve taught them very well and demonstrated they know the right thing to do,” Gitthens said. “They just have to put the things they’ve learned in practice when they get to Marjah.”
Present at the ceremony were Lt. Col. Gerard Wynn, JSAS director, Lt. Col. Ibrahim, Helmand deputy provincial chief of police, and Abdul Mutalab, Marjah District governor. Wynn began the ceremony by commending the new policemen on their successful completion of the two-month long training cycle.
“During the past eight weeks, they’ve each participated in an intense training syllabus that incorporated the mandated ministry of the interior program of instruction,” Wynn said. “They have also completed two weeks of a Marine-influenced training schedule designed to teach the new police officers advanced patrolling, shooting and policing skills.”
Just as the class leadership looks forward to their students’ success on the police force, the new policemen are also eager to begin patrolling the streets of Marjah.
“I learned from [Marines] and I want to use what I’ve learned back at home,” Khaliqdad said. “I want to make Marjah a safer place.”