Local lads are running Afghan police academy

Cpl Liam Keen, left, Trooper Anthony Differ, right, left is  Trooper Liam Brook.'They are training recruits to join the Afghan police force.

Cpl Liam Keen, left, Trooper Anthony Differ, right, left is Trooper Liam Brook.'They are training recruits to join the Afghan police force.

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MEET the Dearne soldiers running a police academy – Afghanistan style.

Local lads in the Light Dragoons are taking a break from their usual duties on reconnaissance missions against the Taliban.

Instead, Lance Corporal Liam Keen, 21, from Goldthorpe, and Troopers Anthony Differ, 31, of Cudworth, and Liam Brook, 21, from Sprotbrough, are helping to run the Police Advisory Team for Helmand.

Their job is to teach up to 40 recruits at a time the skills to join the Afghan police force.

Boosting the force’s capacity is essential if Afghans are going to take over their own security in 2014, when international troops leave.

LCpl Keen, who is working with newly-qualififed police officers, said: “When I was here on my last tour, there weren’t many local police around and they didn’t look very professional.

“Since then, they have established their own chain of command and are willing to work hard, going on patrols and even searching compounds. I have taken them on patrols four or five times.”

Tpr Differ added: “We’ve been giving the Afghans a mixture of classroom lessons, skills such as rifle drills and teaching them how to detect for improvised explosive devices.”