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Sailors Provide Continuous Counter-IED Training to ANSF, Coalition Troops

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110225-17

By Ensign Peter Lee, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1 Public Affairs

MAIMANAH, Afghanistan (NNS) -- U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3 Sailors provided counter improvised explosive device (IED) training to Norwegian soldiers on Forward Operating Base Camp Griffin in Faryab Province, Afghanistan, Feb. 12.

The training is conducted by U.S. Navy EOD technicians, and simulates real-life scenarios at their training site by using IEDs found and rendered safe from the local area.

"We have provided this training so far to the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police, as well as Latvians, Norwegians, Finnish and U.S. troops," said Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal John Groat, course instructor. "Our IED lane trains the eye to look for hazards and builds teamwork that would be applied in a real situation."

Since December 2010, more than 400 multi-national soldiers have been through the course with 300 more expected to receive the training by next month.

"We put everyone through it, even ANA officers," said Norwegian Army 2nd Lt. Mats Hetling, a member of the region mentoring unit which advises the ANA. "IED training is valuable and important. Although we receive this training before deploying, it's always good to have a refresher with new things more area specific. The U.S. Navy EOD technicians here are good at what they do and great to work with, and we have built lasting friendships."

The course includes classroom education, vehicle-mounted and vehicle-dismounted foot patrol segments.

"The training has been very effective," said U.S. Navy Chief Warrant Officer Three Mark Olivera, EOD technician. "Afghan EOD forces have been proactive in participating in this training. They realize the IEDs made by insurgents are meant to hinder their efforts, so they take this training seriously."

Sailors assigned to EODMU-3 are currently deployed throughout Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. EOD forces are highly trained, skilled technicians who are experts in explosives, diving and parachuting.

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