By Sgt. Terysa M. King, U.S. Army Africa Public AffairsDecember 9, 2011
N'DJAMENA, Chad -- After decades of conflict, vast stretches of land in Chad are contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance, affecting millions of people in the country.
To help relieve the suffering of adverse effects of these Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), three Soldiers from the 52nd Ordnance Group, Fort Campbell, Ky., provided a program of instruction on explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) to 13 soldiers in the Republic of Chad, Nov. 7-25.
The 21-day demining event is part of the Humanitarian Mine Action program and was conducted at the Chad National Demining Training Center in the capital of the country, N'djamena.
Soldiers in Chad learned about EOD operations to reduce the extent of areas denied to civilian use because of mine/ERW, the number of casualties due to landmines/ERWs and the effect of mines on market and trade routes. Staff Sgt. Kody R. Williams, EOD team leader, said this mission will provide a better understanding to Chad soldiers to help police the mine fields and unexploded ordnance (UXO).
"During this mission I want to ensure that students learn the safest and most productive way to reduce the mine and UXO latent areas," Williams said.
The HMA program is also designed to aid in development of leadership and organizational skills to sustain the programs after U.S. military trainers have gone home.
"The overall objective of the mission is to eventually get to a state where the Chadians will be able to train their deminers and EOD technicians to international standards," O'Hara said.
Odrom Kamos Bienaye, the Demining Training Center director, said it was good for him to see how units all over the world conduct EOD operations and is eager to build on the training.
"We enjoyed getting to practice what was being taught, and will eventually [be able to] train our own deminers and advance [our] current program," Bienaye said.
During the exercise, participants from both countries gained a better understanding of each other's EOD operations.
"I enjoy learning other cultures and having opportunities to teach personnel required skills for safe and productive operations," Williams said.
"It is very rewarding to see how grateful the students we have come here to teach are," said Williams.