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Marines teach Afghan soldiers how to combat IEDs

By Sgt. Jesse Stence , RCT-1 PAO

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Dec. 1, 2010 — CENTCOM

Afghan National Army soldiers receive improvised explosive device training at Camp Dwyer, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Nov. 24. Photo by Sgt. Jesse Stence.

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan (Dec. 1, 2010)  — Afghan National Army soldiers from Garmsir, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, completed a three-day improvised explosive device course at Camp Garmsir, here, Nov. 25.

The soldiers learned how to identify IEDs, use metal detectors, and report the discovery of IEDs during patrol.

Sgt. Michael Mondt, the lead instructor with the Regimental Combat Team 1 Embedded Training Team, said the Garmsir class was among the most experienced he has instructed. Mondt is one of many International Security Assistance Force personnel responsible for helping the ANA refine their standard operating procedures.

Capt. Stephen Kulas, the ETT operations officer, said his Marines learned something from the ANA as well. Enemy tactics differ from region to region, and the Garmsir soldiers shared their battle field experience with the Marines, he said.

On the final day of training, the soldiers conducted a practice patrol through Camp Garmsir. The last stretch took them around a pit filled with totaled vehicles, all of which had been destroyed by IEDs.

“When they saw the vehicles that were blown up and they saw the importance [of the training], they liked it,” Kulas said.

After finishing the evaluation, the soldiers received a Thanksgiving feast, served up by the ETT. The feast included typical Thanksgiving fare, such as turkey and sweet potatoes; and local favorites, such as Nan, a broad, flour-based bread that is popular throughout the Middle East.