As improvised explosive devices remain the weapon of choice for insurgents, a critical Afghan National Army capability requirement recognized by coalition forces is the need to develop and maintain a sustainable Afghan led Explosive Ordnance Disposal capability.
The growth of this capability will allow ANA to maintain their freedom of movement and protect Afghan civilians from this threat. Significant progress has been made across the country with an extensive recruiting campaign to find individuals who understand the risks associated with this field.
Once recruited and placed into a unit, the Afghan soldiers must complete lengthy training to qualify as an EOD operator. After completing the training courses, soldiers become part of an ANA EOD team and commence further training and mentorship with coalition forces to become better prepared to conduct independent operations.
The Task Force Kandahar EOD Squadron, along with other coalition partners, has transitioned its duties from training to training and validation, which is primarily conducted outside of their compound. Aside from their duties of disposing IEDs, the coalition EOD teams are relied upon to mentor the ANA EOD teams to ensure that their tactical and technical skills are to an acceptable standard in one of the most dangerous parts of the country.
Currently in Regional Command South, the Task Force Kandahar EOD Squadron is the only organizations actively conducting mentorship and partnership with ANA EOD teams and just recently validated the first ANA EOD team in Afghanistan to conduct independent operations.
Article by ISAF Joint Command