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News | Feb. 13, 2013

Afghan EOD Tech nears qualification, trains own force

By Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann , 102nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan (Feb. 12, 2013) — Afghan Border Police explosive ordnance disposal technicians are one step closer to being qualified after a joint training validation event with U.S. Air Force EOD technicians here, Feb. 5.

Being validated will allow the Afghan Border Police (ABP) to receive more equipment to train more technicians, and respond safely to improvised explosive devices (IED) in the Spin Boldak district of Afghanistan.

Afghan Border Police 1st Lt. Azim Noori, the 3rd Zone, Quick Reaction Force Kandak lead technician, has attended three counter-IED and explosives schools that totaled six months, and is currently the 3rd Zone primary counter-IED instructor for the Explosive Hazard Reduction Course (EHRC) in Kandahar.

“I have trained 40 other guys at the EHRC for this Zone,” said Noori. “For me, this training is good practice.”

“He has been very interested in training,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Allen P. Middaugh, an EOD technician from Canton, Ohio, serving with Team 6, 466B Flight, Task Force Paladin. “Everything we teach him gets spread out throughout the entire ABP force as well.”

Noori’s interest in training has led him to work toward becoming a qualified EOD technician. The last thing Noori needs to become qualified is to be validated on four operations by an International Security Assistance Force EOD team.

The Air Force EOD team is trying to validate Noori on one operation during this joint training, but it is also important that the ISAF teams incorporate training for themselves at the same time.

“We want to make sure it’s not just the ABP guys,” said Middaugh. “We wanted to do joint training so we are all getting the same amount. We each set up our own IED. Everyone works on someone else’s so you don’t know exactly what’s there.”

The training is important. With an impending departure of ISAF forces, the ABP will have qualified EOD technicians ready.

“The ABP understands how important this validation process is,” said Middaugh. “They will be taking over when we leave.”

“The training was very important because today’s war is IEDs,” said Noori. “The enemy is not fighting with us. We are facing IEDs.”

“Everyone is working hard, whether its ANA or local police,” said Noori. “It’s a job we are proud of. We are putting our own lives in danger just to make it safe for other people.”