The Afghan National Army (ANA) has made a significant step to bolster its independence in specialist capabilities by leading the Explosive Hazard Reductions Course (EHRC) for the first time at Multi National Base Tarin Kot, according to the ISAF.
Seven ANA instructors trained a group of 22 Afghan soldiers in the techniques to counter insurgent placed Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and unexploded ordnance that maim and kill innocent civilians in Uruzgan province. The soldiers graduated from the three week course on 26 November 2012.
Lead instructor, Sergeant Mohammad Hassain said the ANA can now qualify counter explosives specialists by themselves and employ the skills independently.
“We can now go out on missions and take out the mines that are in our country, I’m very proud of the students and their skill and capability,” Sergeant Hassain said.
“Getting rid of dangerous explosives is so important for the safety of my people. We taught the class how to do this, and eventually they will go on to teach their colleagues.”
Commanding Officer 7th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment Task Group (7 RAR TG) Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Wells said credit is owed to both instructors and students for their exceptional performance on the course.
“I would like to honour and acknowledge the outstanding work of the instructors; their professionalism, their knowledge and hard work is representative of the future of the 4th Brigade here in Uruzgan,” LTCOL Wells said.
“I also honour the graduates; their professionalism, their courage and their skills brings great honour to themselves, their families and the country of Afghanistan. They are truly the defenders of this country.”
The EHRC has produced ten groups of graduates since June 2010. It was previously run by Australian and Singaporean mentors, who have now moved into an advisory role for the ANA instructors.
“The job is now for the ANA to use these skills for the Brigade to continue to drive the insurgency out of this province and to enable the government to prosper,” LTCOL Wells said.