Navy bomb disposal experts are Helmand-bound

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Two Portsmouth-based Royal Navy explosives experts are heading to Afghanistan to help train the Afghan security forces in bomb disposal.

Petty Officer (Diver) Gareth Buffrey and Leading Seaman (Diver) Simon Day of Fleet Diving Unit 2 based at Horsea Island will spend six months in Afghanistan supporting the British Army’s 101 Engineer Regiment.

PO(D) Buffrey, aged 41, will be mentoring Afghan explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams and deploying with them on patrols from various forward operating bases. He said:

It will be a challenging environment but the six months’ specialist training we have had for this deployment should prepare us for most eventualities. Our primary role is to observe, mentor and coach the Afghan National Security Forces.

LS(D) Day, 31, will work with the Coalition Force Training Team (EOD) in Camp Bastion. He said:

I worked with Jordanian forces last year, mentoring them as part of the training for our mission in Afghanistan. The language barrier alone made the work challenging but I am now looking forward to getting out there and getting the job done.

The pair will leave the UK in early April 2011.