A student at Mine Action Training Kosovo prepares an explosive detonator during a MAT Training Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. MAT Kosovo trains its students in a variety of demining techniques. This detonator is designed to burn off a high-explosive, preventing it from detonating at full strength.
1 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A student at Mine Action Training Kosovo prepares an explosive detonator during a MAT Training Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. MAT Kosovo trains its students in a variety of demining techniques. This detonator is designed to burn off a high-explosive, preventing it from detonating at full strength. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. Mark Henderson, a Soldier with the 702nd Ordnance Company attached to the EOD team for Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, gives the tape to a member of Mine Action Kosovo during a MAT Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. The RC-E EOD team visited the MAT Kosovo range to build cooperation efforts between military and civilian demining organizations.
2 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Mark Henderson, a Soldier with the 702nd Ordnance Company attached to the EOD team for Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, gives the tape to a member of Mine Action Kosovo during a MAT Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. The RC-E EOD team visited the MAT Kosovo range to build cooperation efforts between military and civilian demining organizations. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
Doug York, the general manager for Mine Action Training Kosovo, and 1st Lt. Taylor Firn, a platoon leader with the 702nd Ordnance Company attached to the EOD team for Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, listen to a student’s explanation of their explosive detonator during a MAT Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. MAT Kosovo is a humanitarian demining operation that trains people to identify and safely dispose of unexploded ordnance.
3 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Doug York, the general manager for Mine Action Training Kosovo, and 1st Lt. Taylor Firn, a platoon leader with the 702nd Ordnance Company attached to the EOD team for Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, listen to a student’s explanation of their explosive detonator during a MAT Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. MAT Kosovo is a humanitarian demining operation that trains people to identify and safely dispose of unexploded ordnance. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. Mark Henderson, a Soldier with the 702nd Ordnance Company attached to the EOD team for Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, helps secure an explosive detonator during a Mine Action Training Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. The RC-E EOD team supports the NATO-led KFOR to ensure a safe and secure environment for all people in Kosovo.
4 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Mark Henderson, a Soldier with the 702nd Ordnance Company attached to the EOD team for Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, helps secure an explosive detonator during a Mine Action Training Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. The RC-E EOD team supports the NATO-led KFOR to ensure a safe and secure environment for all people in Kosovo. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
1st Lt. Taylor Firn, platoon leader of the 702nd Ordnance Company, attached to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, inspects the results of an explosive detonator demonstration during a Mine Action Training Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. MAT Kosovo practiced low-ordering techniques. A process by which the original high-explosive is burned away and rendered useless.
5 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – 1st Lt. Taylor Firn, platoon leader of the 702nd Ordnance Company, attached to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, inspects the results of an explosive detonator demonstration during a Mine Action Training Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. MAT Kosovo practiced low-ordering techniques. A process by which the original high-explosive is burned away and rendered useless. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
A member of Mine Action Training Kosovo places an explosive detonator during a MAT Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. Testing detonators in a controlled environment safely prepare MAT Kosovo students for experiences they can expect to have in a real-world scenario.
6 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A member of Mine Action Training Kosovo places an explosive detonator during a MAT Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. Testing detonators in a controlled environment safely prepare MAT Kosovo students for experiences they can expect to have in a real-world scenario. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
Students with Mine Action Training Kosovo test explosive detonators during a MAT Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. U.S. Soldiers with the 702nd Ordnance Company, Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, and MAT Kosovo hope to work together to create an environment free of unexploded ordnance in Kosovo.
7 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Students with Mine Action Training Kosovo test explosive detonators during a MAT Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. U.S. Soldiers with the 702nd Ordnance Company, Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, and MAT Kosovo hope to work together to create an environment free of unexploded ordnance in Kosovo. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
A student with Mine Action Training Kosovo places a precision explosive during a MAT Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. MAT Kosovo practices a variety of techniques designed to safely detonate unexploded ordnance.
8 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A student with Mine Action Training Kosovo places a precision explosive during a MAT Kosovo range day outside Dakovica/Gjakovë, Kosovo, on Feb. 11, 2021. MAT Kosovo practices a variety of techniques designed to safely detonate unexploded ordnance. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo — The 702nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, assigned to the explosive ordnance team for Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, traveled to Dakovica to witness the Mine Action Training Kosovo school conduct their range day qualifications.

MAT Kosovo is a humanitarian demining school which trains its student in different levels of EOD certification. The course covers many techniques concerning unexploded ordnance (UXO) identification and removal as well as methods of disposal. MAT Kosovo also works closely with the Kosovo Security Force EOD team to complete training and focus on demining efforts.

“MAT Kosovo is a phenomenal opportunity to take advantage of when it comes to training with the KSF and promoting the humanitarian demining efforts in Kosovo,” said 1st Lt. Taylor Firn, a platoon leader with the 702nd. “MAT Kosovo originated here to restore freedom of movement in Kosovo.”

As the KFOR and KSF EOD teams observed, the MAT Kosovo students qualified and demonstrated their abilities by using low-order techniques to dismantle unexploded ordnance. They used different small explosives to render simulated UXOs ineffective. Low-order methods are designed to slowly burn off high-explosives and prevent a UXO from detonating to its full potential, said Firn.

By the end, the students were qualified in level three EOD operations.

“High-order is when the explosive functions how it’s meant to function,” said Doug York, the general manager for MAT Kosovo. “Low-order is where you’re trying to dispose of the ordnance without it functioning. We use explosives to initiate deflagration within the ordnance to burn all the explosives on the inside.”

Firn has made it a priority for his EOD team to reach out and forge relationships with institutions in Kosovo that play a key role in maintaining peace and stability in the region.

“We appreciate our friendship with American forces,” said York. “It’s important to us to build on it and continue to do cross-training to keep the flow of information between EOD teams active.”

Military EOD teams and civilian organizations like MAT Kosovo routinely enter high-risk situations to remove UXO and dispose of it in a safe manner. Their coordinated efforts help ensure freedom of movement as well as a safe and secure environment for the people of Kosovo.

“It’s always fun to get out and watch explosions,” said Firn, "but my favorite thing was getting face time and furthering that link between the KSF and MAT Kosovo. That’s our real mission here in KFOR.”