Newsletter: The INL Beat, Summer 2010
In This Issue:
Police Units in Burkina Faso and Senegal to Support UN Missions
In partnership with U.S. Embassy Dakar and U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Office of Civilian Police and Rule of Law Programs (INL/CIV) held ceremonies in both Senegal and Burkina Faso to handover equipment that INL/CIV donated to support Formed Police Units (FPUs) that will deploy to Darfur this summer. INL/CIV is supporting the deployment of three police units to Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Mali to the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) through equipment and training. FPUs are a critical precursor to the safe and secure environment in Darfur as they provide civilian protection at the camps for internally displaced persons.
A ceremony was held in Senegal on March 5, 2010 with Deputy Chief of Mission Jay T. Smith representing the United States. The Director General of the National Police, Commissioner Mbenjue, spoke on behalf of Senegal and thanked the United States for donating the equipment and reiterated the importance of their Formed Police Units deployment to Darfur.
In Burkina Faso on May 18, 2010, Chargé d’Affaires Samuel Laeuchli highlighted the history of the United States working with African nations to maintain peace in Darfur, and discussed the creation of the UNAMID for the purpose of mitigating the atrocities in Darfur. Chargé Laeuchli presented equipment to the Minister of Defense, Yero Boly, who expressed his gratitude to the United States for the equipment donation. After the remarks, Chargé Laeuchli and Minister Boly conducted a walking inspection of the equipment with PAE Project Manager Jeff Gouge.
“FPUs are a critical precursor to the safe and secure environment in Darfur.”
INL Kabul Welcomes Back Hameedullah Sultani
Mr. Hameedullah (Hameed) Sultani, U.S. Embassy Kabul's International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) section Procurement Agent, was happily welcomed back to work by the INL Kabul staff on June 1st. Mr. Sultani was severely injured in the February 26, 2010 terrorist attacks in Kabul. INL, along with Embassy Kabul’s Medical Unit and Management sections, ensured that Mr. Sultani received swift medical attention, both at the Afghan National Army facility in Kabul and at the U.S. military hospital at Bagram Air Field. Throughout his recovery, many members of the Embassy community, including his friends in INL, donated money and leave, and kept in touch with him and his family as his health improved.
Eradication and Demand Reduction Operations in Guatemala
Demand Reduction and SECCATID (the Guatemalan drug prevention agency) also supported the operation by delivering aid supplies to school children of surrounding areas. In total, 1,200 school backpacks were delivered, each containing the following items: school supplies (1 backpack, 2 pencils, 1 sharpener, 1 eraser, 2 notebooks, 1 box of crayons); a snack (1 vitamin drink, 1 bag of chips, 1 granola bar, 1 bag of cookies, 1 chocolate); a coloring book; a toothbrush and a toothpaste; a toy; and a flyer with the following slogan “Siembra lo bueno: tu familia lo cosechará” (plant good things: your family will harvest it). This successful operation is the result of NAS Guatemala City’s ongoing capacity building process and its integrated approach towards implementation.
“1,200 school backpacks filled with supplies were delivered.”
INL Tajikistan Goes Over a 4,600-meter Mountain Pass to Monitor Projects
INL Tajikistan projects are often located in the remote areas with limited access to power sources and clean water. To solve this problem, INL uses alternative energy generated by solar panels, wind turbines, and micro hydro turbines. In the Pamirs, INL has worked closely with our implementing partner, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), to use solar panels for lighting and hot water. At a recent U.S. Government-funded reconstruction project of a border guard outpost in Khirmanjo village in the Shurabad district, known for high levels of drug smuggling, INL used solar panels for hot water, back up LED lighting, and radio communications. Future projects will include micro-hydro and wind turbines that will take advantage of Tajikistan’s powerful winds and plentiful mountain streams to provide cheap and reliable energy. To ensure that projects are implemented smoothly and new technology is being installed and used properly, the INL team makes frequent visits to the project sites.
When travelling to the High Pamirs, one can experience four seasons in two days and altitude sickness is always a possibility. The recent monitoring visit was especially challenging, requiring travel through a pass almost 14,000 feet above sea level. The INL team had to put their vehicle on the back of a World-War-II vintage flatbed truck to cross the river that washed out a bridge due to heavy rainfall. Thankfully, the INL team made it and returned to their homes safely.
Two Killed in Attack on Afghanistan Police Training Facility
Gary W. (aka “Wayne”) Willard, 44, of Resaca, Georgia, deployed to Afghanistan as a police mentor on June 22, 2009. Prior to his work in Afghanistan, he was a sergeant with the Calhoun Police Department in Georgia. Earlier, he spent almost ten years with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office in Dalton, Georgia. Before his law enforcement career he was a member of the United States Marine Corps.
Hit Bahadur Gurung, 39, of Nepal worked as a security guard at the Kandahar police training facility.
“These two men supported the mission in Afghanistan with courage, honor, and excellence, and gave their lives in pursuit of a more secure Afghanistan,” said DynCorp International President and CEO Bill Ballhaus, “We extend our deepest sympathies to their families, loved ones, and colleagues.”
The development of the Afghan National Security Forces, including the Afghan National Police and the Afghan National Army, is one of the U.S. government’s highest priorities in Afghanistan. Under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State, over 1,200 U.S. police officers are currently serving as civilian international police in almost a dozen countries across the globe. These officers play an important role in stabilizing post-conflict societies, helping to establish the rule of law and thus increasing security for Americans at home.
Since 2003, DynCorp International has been the U.S. government contractor for the training of Afghan National Police, a program managed by Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs on behalf of the Department of Defense. David T. Johnson, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs emphasized, “the American civilian police officers and other DynCorp employees serving in Afghanistan are courageous professionals who are working in dangerous conditions in service to both the Afghan and the American people. We will continue to work with the Afghan government and our allies and partners to build the capacity of the ANP in order to provide more security and stability to the country.”
U.S. Delivers New Harley-Davidson Motorcycles to Lebanon Police
U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Michele J. Sison presented 20 Harley-Davidson motorcycles to the commanding General of the Lebanese national police, the Internal Security Forces (ISF) on May 18, 2010. As part of a program implemented by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) in cooperation with the Government of Lebanon, 20 state-of-the-art police motorcycles, identical to ones used by many American law enforcement agencies, were produced in the U.S. and delivered to Lebanon for handover to the ISF. These motorcycles will enable the ISF to perform its law enforcement, safety, and traffic management functions, further assisting ISF personnel in fulfilling their professional responsibilities of protecting Lebanon’s citizens and residents.
The delivery of the motorcycles complements the fleet of police vehicles and other equipment donated to the ISF by the United States, including 480 Dodge Chargers and 60 Ford Explorers. In addition to the 20 new motorcycles, the United States also provided spare parts and technical assistance to refurbish an additional 24 Harley-Davidson motorcycles already in the ISF fleet. The value of the project, including the new vehicles, parts and refurbishment, totals $498,000.
Afghanistan Public-Private Partnership
Ambassador Tony Wayne greeted Dr. Mohammad Yasin Osmani, the head of the Government of Afghanistan’s High Office of Oversight and Anti-corruption, during a lunch at Arent Fox LLP’s downtown Washington office in May, 2010. The event, a review of the Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, included Afghan and U.S. Department of State officials. Ambassador Wayne praised the $2 million worth of in-kind and cash contributions to the cause, plus nine scholarships for Afghan students since the Public-Private Partnership kicked off about a year ago. Dr. Osmani called rule of law one of the “hardest hit” values in Afghanistan over the years as war and corruption has been rampant and a barrier to development of a strong legal system.
Ambassador Wayne joined host Arent Fox’s senior government relations advisor, former U.S. Congressman Philip English, partner Robert O’Brien, and Arent Fox’s chairman Mark Katz in welcoming the Afghan delegation. In addition to managing Arent Fox’s Los Angeles office, Mr. O’Brien serves as the co-chair of the Afghanistan Public-Private Partnership. Launched in December 2007, the purpose of the Public-Private Partnership is to help re-establish the rule of law in Afghanistan by providing training to Afghan prosecutors, defense lawyers, bar officials, and judges. In the United States, contributions have come from cash donations and legal experts’ time. Congressman English called the effort “very impressive” and is excited to see the continued build up of rule of law in Afghanistan.
“Public-Private Partnership is to help re-establish the rule of law in Afghanistan.”
Guatemala INL Aviation Cooperation Provides Humanitarian Support
The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) continues to make great strides in establishing an aviation support element for bilateral counternarcotics efforts in Guatemala using four Huey-II helicopters. U.S. Embassy Guatemala City’s Narcotics Affairs Section Aviation Support Project (ASP) is staffed by Guatemalan Air Force aviators and technical personnel and supported by INL Air Wing technical advisors.
The Aviation Support Project is capable of flying day and night counternarcotics missions under hostile conditions. Training of ASP has moved beyond the basics and is now concentrating on advanced qualifications such as instructor pilots, maintenance pilots, safety officers, quality control inspectors, avionics technician, and engine and structural mechanics. At the current rate, the program is well on its way towards the goal of nationalization by the end of September of 2013.
Recently, ASP provided humanitarian support to Guatemala after Tropical Storm Agatha caused extensive damage and flooding. Over the period of twelve days, INL helicopters flew several missions for reconnaissance and damage assessment, rescued 150 personnel trapped on roofs, and delivered 82,000 pounds of food to Guatemalans in affected areas.
Corrections Training in Georgia
The Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) corrections team provided training to a delegation from the Republic of Georgia’s Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance late last winter. The Georgian delegation was led by the new First Deputy Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance, Mr. Paata Sulaberidze. The training included site visits to the District of Columbia’s Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency offices and program center, as well as presentations on probation and parole systems by instructors from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and INL’s probation and parole subject matter experts. This training was in direct support of the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance’s new mandate to provide early release to prisoners in the Georgian prison system.