News: Afghan National Security Forces graduate EHRC
Story by Sgt. Ashley Bell
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Twenty-five Afghan National Army soldiers, Afghan Border Police, and Afghan Special Forces commandos received diplomas Feb. 26 in a joint ceremony at Camp Hero after graduating the Explosive Hazard Reduction Course.
Before the ceremony, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Frank G. Davis, Joint Task Force Paladin-South commander, congratulated the soldiers on completing the course.
“We are excited to see each class of (Afghan National Security Forces) EHRC graduate as it provides the graduates with another opportunity to serve their country by helping to reduce the IED threat to the people of Afghanistan,” he said. “It is refreshing to see how much pride they take in completing the training and receiving that certificate is truly a point of pride among the students. They really are dedicated and want to go forth to do great things.”
Afghan Maj. Ghulam Rasool Ahaznawi had an “end of course” session with the ANSF. Ahaznawi thanked all the instructors from coalition and ANSF. He encouraged students to take advantage of the training and share what they learned their teammates.
“This is very sensitive, vital and life-saving training,” said ANA Sgt. Said Aa Gha.
Gha has served over two years with the ANA and said he was very happy to be graduating from the EHRC.
Nazir Akbari, an Afghan EHRC instructor, said he was very pleased that they were capable of training and graduating 20 to 30 students from the course. Akbari has been an instructor for the course for three months after being identified has a potential instructor upon completing the course himself.
Another EHRC student, Obaudullah, said that his parents allowed him to become ABP so that he can serve his country.
“I’m very happy to be graduating, it (training) was very effective and now we can serve our country better,” he said.
The course is a 30-day course instructed by coalition forces and led by ANA soldiers who had previously completed the training and were chosen among their peers to instruct. Most of the ANSF soldiers have had some training in ground sign awareness; which means they can tell what the landscape is supposed to look like and point out if there have been changes.
The EHRC training covers basic demolition, Improvised Explosive Device training, Theory of Threat Triad, Search Techniques, and physical training in a closed training area.
The April EHRC will be the first completely ran by the ANSF.
“They are involved with a lot of the planning and running the course, by April it will be completely ran by the ANSF,” said Davis.
Davis also said the ANSF must be able to plan for the long-term and continue to work towards a sustainable solution by ensuring that the trainers are prepared and properly resourced to conduct the training; and the students show up on a consistent basis to receive the training.
“We will continue to observe and provide assistance as required through the next two classes with the intent to lengthen the distance and oversight we provide to the course,” said Maj. Matthew Kuhns, JTF Paladin South Operations Officer. “The EHRC class is an absolute success and each class demonstrates more and more Afghan independence.”
“I think that JTF Paladin-South has absolutely accomplished many of the goals set forth to train ANSF forces on Explosive Hazards Reduction Course tasks associated with identification of hazards and then mitigating the items to get rid of the threat,” said Davis. “We have worked diligently to help the ANSF develop a basic awareness and understanding of the IED threat by teaching Afghans C-IED awareness skills and then having them go back out to the units and teach others.”