News: CJTF Paladin holds counter-IED training for ANSF
Story by Lt.j.g. Andrew Carleen
FORWARD OPERATING BASE APACHE, Afghanistan - Soldiers from Combined Joint Task Force Paladin conducted training for members of the Afghan National Army 2/205 Route Clearance Company here, Monday and Tuesday.
The training, which was focused on countering improvised explosive devices, was meant to build awareness of IED threats and indications, and to train the Afghans on the use of tactics and equipment necessary for defeating IEDs.
“[The training] brought them a better understanding of the IED threats in their area and how to avoid and defeat them,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher L. Wooddell of CJTF Paladin, one of the instructors.
As an RCC, the 2/205 is responsible for clearing roads of IED threats to allow the ANA freedom of movement.
“How do we know there might be an IED?” said Wooddell during the class. “Generally we see something out of the ordinary.”
The Paladin instructors showed the class examples of types of IEDs that they might encounter and discussed the signs that might indicate the presence of an IED. Students were also asked to demonstrate the use of common IED detection devices and practiced formations for movement when clearing an area of explosive hazards.
“We try to keep the class engaging because it increases class participation and gives the opportunity to showcase leaders in the unit who can step up and train their own,” said Wooddell.
The training gave the Afghan soldiers a better understanding of how different types of IEDs function, said Sgt. 1st Class David M. Furtado, a Paladin instructor.
“This training educates them on the dangers of IEDs and gives them the tools to pass that knowledge on,” said Furtado. “The more they know and the more they can demonstrate to the enemy that they know, the enemy sees that and IEDs become less of a threat.”
The Paladin instructors also stressed the importance of working with the local population in order to find information on possible IEDs.
One of the highest points for me was the response I got when I asked the class if they wanted to know how to find IEDs, said Furtado. When I told them that you have to engage the local population because they’re the ones who will know best if something is out of the ordinary, that stuck with them.
The training has added importance with the withdrawal date of coalition forces slated for 2014 and the need to ensure that the ANA is prepared to take the lead in the security of the country, said Wooddell.
“Education and better understanding become a force multiplier by preventing [the ANA] from becoming victims,” said Wooddell. “The success of our partnership will largely be based on how well they defeat IEDs.”
CJTF Paladin is responsible for coalition counter-IED operations and training in Afghanistan.