Story by Lance Cpl. Daniel Wulz
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Afghan national army soldiers graduated the Explosive Hazard Reduction course 11-4 held at Joint Sustainment Academy Southwest aboard Camp Leatherneck, June 9.
The EHRC was a four-week course designed to teach ANA soldiers how to detect improvised explosive devices and remove them from an area. The 24 Afghans who graduated also received advanced courses in detonating and disposing IEDs.
“The soldiers took to the information well and were quite keen,” said Royal Army Cpl. Paul M. Green, an EHRC instructor. “They grasped the information very well. I think that’s important because then Afghanistan forces won’t be relying on International Security Assistance Forces for the detection and removal of IEDs.”
The graduation ceremony featured a speech from ANA Brig. Gen. Qordatullah Quam, the cultural and religious affairs officer with 215th Corps, who spoke to the soldiers about their accomplishment and new duties as explosive hazard reduction specialists in the ANA.
“I’m really happy that they learned everything in this course and can now help the people of Afghanistan,” Quam said. “What they have learned increases their responsibilities and thanks to this course, they know what those responsibilities are and how to carry them out.”
Although the purpose of the course was to teach explosive hazard reduction, certain students, such as ANA Sgt. 1st Class Jalaldin Haqani, were selected by the course instructors to be sent to places like Kabul Military Training Center, the recruit training camp of the ANA where they can teach their new skills to other Afghan soldiers.
“This course was great,” Haqani said. “I feel like I am now fully prepared to go to Kabul to train soldiers and help the ANA. We all learned a lot, and with this knowledge we can help rebuild our country.”