Sixteen demining specialists from Central Asian countries completed a three-week regional Explosive Ordnance Disposal course (EOD level 3) on 17 March 2023 in Dushanbe. The OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe organized the event in co-operation with Tajikistan’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the United States Army Central.
The course participants represented Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan’s Ministries of Defence; Tajikistan’s Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defence; the National Guard of Tajikistan; Tajikistan’s Border Troops and the Ministry of Interior.
The activity aimed to develop the competencies and enhance the qualifications of military personnel from Central Asia to perform their duties and tasks as qualified EOD Level 3 Operators when carrying out EOD operations according to International Mine Action Standards.
Other main topics covered in the course were EOD safeties; land service ammunition; rendering safe procedures and tools; EOD protective works; chemical and biological agents; demolition range management and disposal of explosive ordnance as well as EOD reporting and full mission profile.
Representing Tajikistan’s MOD, Major General Sayorabek Bachabekzoda, Head of the Engineering Department, said: “Tajikistan’s Ministry of Defence highly appreciates the contribution of the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe in supporting the Regional Explosive Hazards Training Centre of the MOD with EOD equipment and in training the regional specialists on EOD courses since the level of the threat of terrorism and the threat posed by explosive hazards have not decreased in the region yet.”
Major General Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, Director of Tajikistan’s National Mine Action Centre, stressed the importance of the EOD courses in the context of regional security.
Captain Muhammad Umair, U.S. Air Force Bilateral Affairs Officer from the Office of Military Co-operation at the United States Embassy in Dushanbe said: “I hope that you found the training directly applicable to your dangerous jobs and something that will keep you safe as you are continuing to keep Central Asia mine free. We are stronger when we work together. Together, we can enhance regional security and work towards a brighter future.”
The course will sustain the training capacity within the Ministries of Defence of Central Asia to train its staff on explosive hazards and operational management resources. It will allow the Ministries to continue internal capacity development and skills transfer in their departments in Central Asia and other OSCE participating States, as per national and international standards.