FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM II, Afghanistan -- Marines and civilian contractors from the Security Force Assistance Advisor Team for 4th Brigade, 215th Corps, Afghan National Army, gave a map skills class aboard Forward Operating Base Delaram II, March 15, 2014.
The class was part of a ten-week explosive ordnance disposal course offered by the SFAAT for ANA soldiers in staff leadership billets.
“They’re a good group of guys,” said Master Sgt. Richard Oldham, an explosive ordnance disposal instructor from the 4-215 SFAAT. “They’re very serious about their jobs and still willing to learn and improve upon what they have, so it’s a real pleasure to work with those guys.”
During the class, soldiers were instructed by civilian contractors, who are all former military, on how to read scale maps, plot grid coordinates and plan routes according to terrain features on the maps.
“If we can make the ANA better, they can secure their area of operations,” said Oldham. “The impact on the general public is that the environment will then be safer for them to live in.”
The course is designed to instill basic tactics, techniques and procedures into ANA soldiers for locating, avoiding and disposing of improvised explosive devices.
Many of the soldiers taking the course will pass the knowledge on to members of their units throughout Afghanistan.
“Because I am a staff sergeant, it’s my job to lead my junior soldiers,” said Staff Sgt. Sher Mirza, an Afghan soldier with the 4th Brigade. “When I learn something new here, I’m going to teach the same thing to my soldiers because it’s very important for them as well.”
The 4-215 SFAAT’s main purpose is to advise and provide assistance to 215th Corps’ 4th Brigade when needed. The EOD course is one of many courses offered at FOB Delaram II to help formally educate and train ANA soldiers so that they will be able to sustain their current level of training after U.S. and coalition forces leave Afghanistan.
“I’m confident they will be able to maintain their current level of proficiency after we leave,” said Oldham. “They already have it. We are just helping them to fine-tune their abilities.”