KABUL, Afghanistan - The risk of improvised explosive devices remains a great threat for members of the Afghan National Security Forces as they continue their efforts to provide the Afghan people with safe communities where the rule of law and good governance can prevail. This threat is particularly serious for the Afghan Border Police, which is responsible for securing the country’s mountainous borders, with many posts located in extremely remote and hard-to-access areas.
The ABP has made significant and steady progress with its Counter-Improvised Explosive Device capability, from sharing intelligence among ANSF components to the fielding of C-IED equipment and development of explosive ordinance disposal teams.
The Handheld Metal Detector Course given in late August to members of the ABP at the Kabul Military Training Center is one of those improvements. This course is but one component of a broader Road Clearance Course curriculum aimed at arming border police with the fundamental skills that will give them more freedom to maneuver and greater ability to clear routes for follow-on operations in an IED threat environment.
“This course is designed to teach employment, operation and mine sweeping tactics, techniques and procedures for handheld metal detectors assigned to the unit being trained,” said Royal Canadian Air Force Capt. Wendy Osmond, a NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan training coordinator who assists the ABP. “This course not only introduces the students to new equipment – the Vallon metal detector – but we also teach them how to be better aware of signs of IED threat in their environment.”
This Road Clearance Course curriculum will also give ABP members an understanding of the C-IED strategic mission, the ministry and security services’ distinct roles in countering the threat, and how to disrupt IED supply chains with “Attack the Network” principles.
“Ultimately, the ABP will now be more self-sustainable with this new capability. They will be able to execute their own clearance operation, reducing their dependence on other ANSF organizations or the coalition forces,” said Osmond.
The ABP will eventually field six road clearance companies using the SPARK OIF Track Width Mine Roller in Afghan regions considered a high IED threat.