CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- Afghan Uniformed Police recruits recently had the opportunity to learn how to effectively and properly use batons in combat or riot situations at the Joint Security Academy Southwest, here.
The two-day baton defensive techniques course began with classroom instruction, April 19. The AUP recruits then implemented what they learned in practice matches, culminating in a riot control scenario.
“The goal is more or less familiarization,” said Cpl. Nicholas Otten, a JSAS instructor. “We don’t want them to get to their unit and be completely unfamiliar with the baton or how to use it.”
Otten, of Luverne, Minn., added that most of the students were completely unfamiliar with the idea of defensive tactics before the class, Otten said.
“For the most part, we are starting from scratch with all the students,” he said.
In addition to teaching striking, blocking, proper stance and general familiarization, Otten incorporated ethics into his classes.
“We wanted to teach them that the baton is not necessarily a tool for [violence], but can be used for compliance and control,” Otten stated.
The course is predominately about the students learning to take care of themselves and each other in day-to-day situations.
“I will be able to protect myself with the tactics we learned in the last two days,” said AUP recruit Zubair Magidi, the course class leader.
Recruit Ali Khan agreed with Magidi about the benefits of learning the baton tactics.
“Some guys didn’t know anything about this before, and now we can protect each other,” Khan stated.
Whether using the tactics learned for crowd control and compliance, or for protecting themselves and their fellow policemen from enemy attacks, the recruits agreed that learning skills such as baton defensive techniques would be beneficial in helping them gain ground in their country’s future.