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Army August 2, 2012
Capt Jesse Platz
AFGHAN police in Uruzgan province
have been learning to dispose of life-
threatening explosive devices on the
Explosive Hazard Reduction Course
The EHRC, introduced in June 2010,
is a highly successful education program
designed to train local forces to clear
IEDs and unexploded ordnance indepen-
The 21-day course is run year-round
by Australian and Singaporean explosive
ordnance disposal (EOD) experts, and
qualified Afghan instructors. It is often
run for the Afghan National Police (ANP)
whose freedom of movement is often
hindered by IEDs near their checkpoints.
Course manager CPO Shaun Elliott
said the EHRC helped the Afghans
resolve these incidents independently.
"The ANP spend a lot of time at
checkpoints and it's very common that
they find or have IEDs and suspicious
items handed in to them," CPO Elliott
"We are giving them the capability
to deal with such hazards on site, rather
than wait for coalition forces or Afghan
National Army (ANA) EOD technicians
to arrive and deal with the threat."
A group of nine police and 18 ANA
students graduated on July 18 with quali-
fications that will eventually lead them to
mentor their colleagues.
"Train the trainer is our end game,"
CPO Elliott said. "If we can get them to
a point where they are successfully train-
ing their own personnel, we believe that
they can operate independently around
Local policeman Rafullah said the
course was integral to enhancing the
security situation and the transition pro-
"I am very thankful of the instructors
on this course. It is very important for the
ANP and very important for our country,"
"Before, when we came across an IED
we had lots of problems with it and had
to call in for help, but now the police and
ANA have the ability to [dispose of] it.
"It is a very good feeling to make dan-
gerous areas safe for local forces and my
ANA instructor Sgt Abdul Rahmin,
a former student of the EHRC, said the
police were integrating well and learning
the fundamentals very quickly.
"The work they are doing here is very
good. They know how to find an IED on
patrol, blast it and make the area safe,"
"We are very proud of the Afghan
police on this course. Our country needs
the police and Army to be trained in this
skill and practise it for many years in the
The EHRC is run at a purpose-built
counter-IED compound to provide a prac-
tical and realistic training environment.
"We educate them on all types of
explosive hazards, respective threat lev-
els, ways to counter different charges
and ideal courses of action for each sce-
nario," CPO Elliott said. "We do this in
an environment similar to that outside
The hazards of the job
Police in Uruzgan province are joining courses on explosive detection and disposal to work independently
Life skills: Explosive ordnance disposal technician Sgt Dave Wallace shows Afghan soldiers how an M81
firing initiator works during the Explosives Hazard Reduction Course at Multinational Base Tarin Kot.
Photos by Cpl Hamish Paterson
Bang on: Instructors watch as charges laid by students are detonated on the
range at Tarin Kot.
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