KABUL, Afghanistan — Explosive ordnance disposal technicians from the Afghan National Army,
Afghan National Police and National Directorate of Security convened for
a five-day meeting to exchange ideas and discuss best practices for
combating explosives throughout Afghanistan.
The Resolute Support and Combined Security Transition
Command-Afghanistan Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Directorate
joined more than 120 EOD technicians from throughout the country for the
first joint meeting of its kind last week.
CSTC-A deputy commander U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Ostrowski provided opening remarks at the inaugural gathering.
“We must continue to build a sustainable, effective and affordable ANDSF
[Afghan National Defense and Security Forces] through training and
resourcing in order to achieve mutually supporting and simultaneous
employment of the following lines of effort,” said Ostrowski before
highlighting the systems and processes required for success in the fight
Ostrowski stated there are four necessary steps: continue to attack the
network, defeat the device, prepare the force and enable a holistic
government approach. He also highlighted the Coalition’s equipment
contributions to counter-IED efforts in Afghanistan, noting more than
455 mine rollers were issued in support of route clearance operations
since 2011, along with 90,000 mounted and dismounted counter-IED radio
controlled electronic warfare devices. He said there were 64 EOD items
delivered to the ANDSF, including critical equipment such as medium
tactical vehicles, IED jammers, bomb suits, hand-held detectors and
“Finally, we have established two state of the art Ministry of the
Interior exploitation labs in both Kabul and Herat, designed to gain
further intelligence about the devices that are being used against us,”
said Ostrowski as he summarized the materiel support provided to ANDSF
He added that while equipment is important, personnel and training are paramount.
“One of the lessons relearned is the value of training; training must
accompany innovation,” said Ostrowski. “Our best counter-IED weapon will
always be a well-trained soldier or policeman.”
Gen. Mohammad Anwar Paigham, Director of the Ministry of the Interior
Engineering, praised the joint event and emphasized that “the goal is to
have better coordination between the security elements, the Ministries
of Defense and the Interior and National Directorate of Security,
especially in the area of counter-IED.”
The Ministry of the Interior Deputy Minister for Administration Lt. Gen.
Akramuddin Yawar echoed the importance of communication between the
agencies, and said creation of a reoccurring joint event was a good
medium for interagency operations.
“This conference will give us a chance to exchange ideas, thoughts and
learning from each other’s experience,” said Yawar, addressing the
audience. “You can all implement what you learn here in your units.”
“So many of our casualties are due to IEDs,” continued Yawar. “We need
to let the people of Afghanistan know that we put our lives on the line
to save the lives of civilians.”
“It is a great honor to the people of Afghanistan that you each would
put your lives at risk to save the population of our country,” echoed
Paigham thanked his advisers and coalition partners for making the event
and training possible and concluded his remarks by recognizing all of
the soldiers and police in the audience.
“Thank you to the counter-IED and EOD operators, who without you, there would have been countless lives lost in Afghanistan.”