Members of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 12, assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, held a Humanitarian Mine Action instruction course for Tanzanian People’s Defense Force (TPDF) soldiers, in Dar es Salaam, Aug. 6-28, 2015.
“This training is very important to us because it teaches us the safe ways of storage, the detection of the mines, [how to find] find unexploded ordnance and first aid techniques to help our fellow soldiers in the field,” Lt. Mohamed Ally Sief, a TPDF ammunition officer said.
“We can now [perform] reconnaissance and solve problems without [worrying about] having causalities or damages.”
This course leveraged practical exercises to supported one of CJTF-HOA’s partner nations and improve their ordnance identification skills and overall safety practices.
The course focused on mine clearance, demolition procedures, ordnance reconnaissance, metal detector familiarization, and minefield casualty recovery. TPDF students learned to identify grenades, bombs, mortars, rockets, booby traps, missiles, and small caliber ammunition.
“The U.S. Navy instructors have taught us a lot,” said TPDF Ammunition technician, Lt. Venance Dismas Msoffe. “They have done their part; what is remaining is [for us] to go be good ambassadors in our field.”
The 22 students are all ammunition technicians and officers, whose daily jobs are to manage and control weapons for their defense force.
“In conjunction with learning about ordnance safety,” Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 2nd Class Ryan said, “We’ve also gone over medical procedures, so they can feel confident if a teammate goes down in a hazardous environment; they will be able to stabilize them.”
The instructors shared best practices for tactical combat casualty care, including how to identify life threatening wounds and basic first aid, burn treatment, and bleeding control.
“It’s very rewarding to see the students learn something that you know is going to help them have safer working habits and possibly save a life,” Ryan said.
The HMA instruction course is funded by the U.S. Department of State, which assists selected countries in relieving human suffering and develops indigenous mine action capability.
“I would like to sincerely thank the course facilitators from the U.S. Navy for imparting us with a great deal of knowledge and skills on EOD,” Sief said. “We really appreciate their brotherly services. The knowledge and skills we have been imparted, will able us to overcome day-to-day challenges in our military career. We will deliver this knowledge and skills back to our units.”