More than 40 specialists from Afghanistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan completed a training seminar on advanced explosive ordnance disposal on April 20, 2016 in Dushanbe, organized by the OSCE Office in Tajikistan as a part of a multi-year project.
The course, which covered levels one and two of the explosive ordnance disposal curriculum outlined in International Mine Action Standards, was held at the Lyaur Field Training Centre of Tajikistan’s Ministry of Defence. The participants came from national armed forces, national mine action co-ordination authorities and civilian agencies which are directly engaged in addressing explosive hazards threats.
“The second explosive ordnance disposal training cycle is particularly significant as it introduces the mentorship approach to training whereby junior instructors – graduates of the first training cycle implemented in years 2014 and 2015 - are providing training shoulder-to-shoulder with their United States Army Central colleagues to the students from Central Asian and Afghanistan,” said Scott Kearin, Acting Head of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan.
U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Elisabeth Millard highlighted the leadership that the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan has shown in hosting this series of training events. She said: “The need for competent explosive ordnance disposal specialists and trainers is critical for removing landmines and explosive remnants of war that threaten safety and stability in Tajikistan and surrounding countries.” She praised the Tajik Ministry of Defence for hosting a train-the-trainer program that allows them to lead humanitarian mine action programmes in the wider region.
Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, Director of the Tajikistan National Mine Action Centre, said: “Tajikistan recognizes the present-day threats of explosive hazards and the need to address these challenges throughout the region and on a global level.”
Two separate courses – for Russian speaking and Tajik-Dari speaking groups of students - were facilitated by the OSCE Office in partnership with the United States Army Central and supported by the U.S. Embassy’s Office for Military Co-operation in Dushanbe. They were financed by the U.S. State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement.
Since 2009, the OSCE has been supporting the development of co-operative mechanisms on a technical level among states in Central Asia and Afghanistan to address concerns and challenges stemming from explosive hazards.