News story

New Afghan explosive experts complete their training

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

The Afghan National Security Forces' (ANSF) newest explosive experts have marked the completion of their training with a ceremony at their base in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand province.

A newly-qualified Afghan explosives expert is congratulated by his British mentor [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Rhys O'Leary, Crown copyright]
A newly-qualified Afghan explosives expert is congratulated by his Royal Marines mentor

The explosive hazard reduction experts, who come from both the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan Uniform Police (AUP), will allow the ANSF the freedom of movement to provide increased security for the local population. Their role will be to find and destroy improvised explosive devices (IEDs) throughout Nahr-e Saraj.

Newly-qualified Afghan explosives experts graduate from their training
Newly-qualified Afghan explosives experts graduate from their training [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Rhys O'Leary, Crown copyright]

The 4-week course was run by International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) experts from the EOD and Search Task Force and held at Main Operating Base Price, 40 Commando Royal Marines’ base in central Helmand province.

Sergeant Kev Clark, an ISAF instructor from 11 EOD Regiment, said:

The course provides the ANA and AUP with safe ways to search for and find IEDs and the procedures to blow them up in place instead of what they had been doing, which is unsafe procedures basically.

We teach them how to use search equipment and ground sign awareness. They are very good at ground sign. For guys that are, in the main, illiterate, they picked up the procedures extremely well and asked a lot of good questions.

The course certificates were presented by Captain Alex Nixon, Adjutant of 40 Commando Royal Marines. He said:

To be able to present these certificates to the latest explosive hazard reduction course members was a fantastic opportunity. The men from both the ANA and AUP will assist in providing security and peace in Nahr-e Saraj and they provide a significant capability for the ANSF.

Newly-qualified Afghan explosives experts with their certificates and mentors
Newly-qualified Afghan explosives experts with their certificates and mentors [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Rhys O'Leary, Crown copyright]

They have performed well during their training and are now capable of dealing with many of the threats posed by those who attempt to destabilise GIRoA (Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) and undermine the success that Afghan forces are having.

The newly-trained explosives experts will now go back to their respective units where, together with the ANSF’s highly-trained EOD experts, they will provide the backbone of the ANSF’s future EOD capability.

Published 22 February 2013