Afghan National Civil Order Force (ANCOF)
Afghan National Civil Order Police
One of the key initiatives in the ANDSF Roadmap during 2018 involved the transfer of most of the ANCOP and elements of the ABP to control of the MoD. ANP forces remain on the front lines augmenting the ANA during the “hold” phase of counterinsurgency (COIN) operations; however, with limited or no crew-served weapons, anti-armor weapons, armored vehicles, or ISR assets, the ANP are not sufficiently trained or equipped for traditional COIN tactics. The ANP’s focus and employment in COIN military functions have hindered their development of sufficient anti-crime and other community policing capabilities. The ANP is several years behind the ANA in its development.
The majority of the ANCOP completed the transition from the MoI to the MoD in March 2018 and were renamed the Afghan National Civil Order Force (ANCOF). The ANCOF consists of eight brigades, assigned to ANA corps headquarters in their geographic location. The ANCOF’s capability to respond effectively to civil disorder and conduct clearance operations in urban terrain addresses deficiencies in some of the ANA corps. The future role of the ANCOF may change; however, maintaining continuity of mission will assist in the integration of the ANCOF into the ANA and reduce the requirement for additional training as the fighting season begins.
Despite the change in ministries, the ANCOF mission did not change. The ANCOF missions include: dealing with civil unrest, reacting to insurgent activities in remote and high-threat areas, conducting civil order presence patrols, and providing crisis response to public unrest and terrorist attacks in urban and metropolitan areas. The ANCOF support clearing operations by providing intelligence, tactical support, and manpower to secure seized terrain. An ANCOP force of 2,550 remained under the MoI’s control to serve as a riot control force referred to as the Public Security Police (PSP).
Afghanistan National Civil Order Police
As the premiere police force in Afghanistan, the Afghanistan National Civil Order Police operated in a gendarmerie capacity in response to significant events and deploy in support of large-scale civil order operations throughout the country, serving as the lead police organization in the COIN effort and working closely with military counterparts as needed.
As of March 2012, the total strength for the ANCOP, including policemen in training, was 17,442, an increase of 3,042 personnel from six months earlier. Although ANCOP units’ effectiveness initially suffered from high attrition that stemmed largely from extended deployments and high operations tempo, the adoption of a 12-week recovery and retraining period between deployments has improved this situation.
In addition, the commander of the ANCOP continued to use new processes to reduce attrition rates and ensure that leaders are held accountable for poor performance. As a result of these efforts, ANCOP attrition in March 2012 was only 0.5 percent, one of the lowest rates since tracking began. Though the ANCOP still suffers from significant attrition levels, averaging 1.9 percent over the past six months, the ANCOP continues to meet growth objectives.
At any given time, there were 14 ANCOP battalions supporting coalition and MoI operations, primarily in southern and eastern Afghanistan. The ANCOP has received the highest density of coalition partnering during training and employment cycles, which has resulted in a highly effective operational force. More recently, ANCOP units were involved in anti-riot situations that followed the accidental burning of Korans at the Bagram Air Base in Parwan province, and demonstrated professionalism, sound judgment, courage, and effectiveness in their performance.
The ANCOP provides the primary offensive capability within the ANP. The ANCOP mission includes dealing with civil unrest and reacting to insurgent activities in remote and high-threat areas. The ANCOP also conducts civil order presence patrols and provides response capabilities to handle crisis or counterterrorism events in urban and metropolitan areas and to mitigate violent public incidents. ANCOP units support the ANA during clearing operations providing intelligence, tactical support, and manpower to hold and secure terrain as it is seized. With approximately 15,000 personnel, the ANCOP has remained close to its authorized manning level of 16,000.
During late 2015, the ANCOP were involved in all major offensive and counter-offensive operations conducting highway security and clearing operations. Notably, the ANCOP are the primary police element to plan and execute cross-pillar operations in the hold phase of the counter-insurgency operations. A high operational tempo this reporting period resulted in nearly all of the ANCOP’s 33 kandaks being deployed and engaged in the fight at any given time. This contributed to combat weariness and readiness shortfalls. RS advisors are training, advising, and assisting ANCOP and MoI leadership as they attempt to improve their equipment and manpower readiness over the winter.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|