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U.S., Azerbaijan Military Begin Joint Training

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050816-08
Release Date: 8/16/2005 1:45:00 PM

From Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Approximately 70 service members from Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Mobile Unit 8 and supporting units are participating in extended bilateral training with Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) forces from Azerbaijan, beginning Aug. 8 and lasting for approximately 15 months.

The HMA training is focused on improving the capabilities of multiple Azerbaijan National Agency Mine Action (ANAMA) teams. Specifically, the six-phase training process will include classroom and field training, to include detection, identification and disposal of conventional and dispensed munitions.

“The intent is for United States and Azerbaijan forces to train together to reduce the threat posed by land mines and in the process, to strengthen our emerging partnerships in the trans-Caucasus region,” said Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Vice Adm. J. "Boomer" Stufflebeem. “Working together in realistic, challenging security cooperation opportunities will enhance the professional skills and develop a spirit of friendship among all participants.”

The diverse and demanding agenda being pursued in this training will enhance interoperability and further develop military-to-military cooperation between the two countries.

Previous U.S. de-mining training efforts assisted Azerbaijan to use its own personnel to clear ordnance that impeded construction of its national oil pipeline, which began production earlier this year. These next efforts are to enable Azerbaijan to reclaim arable land and return it to the people of Azerbaijan in order to increase their standard of living.



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