18 Apr 2007

PR# 2007-316

Bamyan RTC welcomes female police officers

BAMYAN REGIONAL TRAINING CENTER, Afghanistan – Thirty-one students, including eight women, graduated April 12 from the basic course at Bamyan Regional Training Center.

The women’s participation was the result of an initiative by the New Zealand police lead adviser to increase the number of women serving in the Afghan National Police.

Three different female trainees received honors.  They were most improved student, top shot and top of the class.  In addition, Col. Hafizullah Payman, RTC commander, promoted Third Level Officer (Draim Satanman) Kobra to Duwayom Satanman (Second Level Officer) for her efforts in training the female recruits. 

Inspector Lex Soepnel is the lead international adviser for the New Zealand Police Operation Highland IV team at the Bamyan Regional Training Center.  The New Zealanders are part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).  The Bamyan RTC completes Afghanistan National Police training and covers the provinces of Bamyan, Daikundi, Parwan, Panjshir and Kapisa.

There were four female police officers in Bamyan when the New Zealanders arrived in Afghanistan in October 2006.  Three of the women had just graduated from the basic course while the other one had been a police officer for 10 months.  Female members of the neighboring ISAF New Zealand Provisional Reconstruction Team helped train the original women.

Recruiting more women was a key task for the New Zealand team.  They sought more female police officers to assist with domestic crimes and also crimes associated with children. 

There was little interest from females to join the ANP.  Inspector Soepnel decided to improve upon that.  His initial thought was to turn one of the female trainees as a recruiting officer. 

As a result of this, Officer Kobra transferred from the Bamyan Central Police Station to the Bamyan RTC to serve as an instructor.  Her husband is also a soldier in the ANP.  Officer Kobra trained as an instructor and completed an individual development course and a provincial training program.  She then became the first qualified female instructor at the Bamyan RTC, and one of only five female general purpose ANP instructors in the country. 

A meeting was held with all the four serving female police officers at the RTC to discuss recruiting more women.  The agreed upon strategy was for the females to do it personally rather than rely on the media or word of mouth. 

On Feb. 15, Officer Kobra became the first qualified ANP female firearms instructor in Afghanistan following training with ISAF CTC firearms section instructors. 

The basic course began Feb. 17 at the Bamyan RTC. Current female Bamyan ANP officers recruited the eight women.  In order to allow the women to attend the training Colonel Payman held meetings with mullahs and family members.  This honor recognized the trust and confidence the community has in Colonel Payman and the RTC staff, as well as the New Zealand advisers and the Provisional Reconstruction Team who helped train the female trainees.

Several dignitaries, including the Bamyan governor and senior ANP officials from Bamyan and neighboring provinces, attended the graduation.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/