Afghans graduate from first explosive hazards reduction course in Uruzgan

Thir­teen mem­bers of the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces (ANSF) recent­ly grad­u­at­ed as cer­ti­fied Explo­sive Haz­ard Reduc­tion Tech­ni­cians on the com­ple­tion of a new­ly estab­lished course run by Aus­tralian Army Engi­neers in Urz­gan.
Course Senior Instruc­tor, Cap­tain Matt Mur­phy, said the grad­u­at­ing Afghan sol­diers and police­men were the first to be qual­i­fied in the 21-day Explo­sive Haz­ards Reduc­tion Course con­duct­ed by Com­bined Team — Uruz­gan (CT‑U).

“The course is the first of its type to be run out­side of Kan­da­har Air Field and con­tin­ues to enhance the ANSF capa­bil­i­ty in deal­ing with explo­sive haz­ards such as Impro­vised Explo­sive Devices (IEDs) and Unex­plod­ed Ord­nance (UXO). By pro­vid­ing the ANSF with this capa­bil­i­ty, we enhance and empow­er the police and army,” Cap­tain Mur­phy said.

The inten­sive train­ing course was deliv­ered at the Counter IED Com­pound at Mul­ti Nation­al Base — Tarin Kot (MNB-TK) and, along with the exist­ing course in Kan­da­har, is being mon­i­tored as a mod­el for sim­i­lar cours­es to be deliv­ered across Afghanistan.

Cap­tain Mur­phy said the Com­pound repli­cates the local envi­ron­ment includ­ing roads, build­ings and vehi­cles and was cur­rent­ly being upgrad­ed with an aque­duct sys­tem and agri­cul­tur­al fields to make the train­ing as real­is­tic for the stu­dents as pos­si­ble.

“The course was designed to teach the ANSF how to reduce dif­fer­ent forms of explo­sive haz­ards. The train­ing is real­is­tic and by deliv­er­ing it on at the Counter IED Com­pound, the stu­dents learn how to deal with the threat in the envi­ron­ment where they will face it,” Cap­tain Mur­phy said.

The train­ers at MNB-TK are also the first non-US per­son­nel to be giv­en author­i­ty to cer­ti­fy stu­dents, and selec­tion for the course is high­ly com­pet­i­tive.

Cap­tain Mur­phy said that the Afghan sol­diers and police­men select­ed to par­tic­i­pate in the course were rec­om­mend­ed on mer­it. He said that the invi­ta­tion to join the train­ing was a great source of pride and pres­tige among the ANSF.

“The stu­dents are keen to learn and have under­tak­en their train­ing with an incred­i­bly pos­i­tive atti­tude. At the end of the day, they under­stand that by hav­ing the skills to reduce the explo­sive haz­ard threat in their coun­try, they are keep­ing their fel­low secu­ri­ty forces and their civil­ian pop­u­la­tion safe from this threat,” Cap­tain Mur­phy said.

Upon grad­u­a­tion, each stu­dent was pre­sent­ed with a cer­tifi­cate, a kit-bag con­tain­ing the spe­cial­ist equip­ment they require to under­take the job and a cov­et­ed Explo­sive Haz­ard Reduc­tion Tech­ni­cian patch to wear on their uni­form.

On the pre­sen­ta­tion of their cer­tifi­cates, each stu­dent turned proud­ly and pro­claimed to the audi­ence, “I serve Afghanistan.”

Out­stand­ing stu­dents will be giv­en the chance to train for the high­er qual­i­fi­ca­tion of Explo­sive Ord­nance Dis­pos­al (EOD) Tech­ni­cian at the ISAF train­ing facil­i­ty in Kab­ul.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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