MAPUTO, Mozambique (NNS) -- The United States Government conducted demining training with Mozambican civilians as part of the global Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) Program from April 22 to May 10.
Explosive Ordinance Disposal technicians from Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit 8 (EODMU 8) conducted the training.
The United States Government HMA Program supports the United Nations Mine Action strategy. Their goal is to eliminate the threat of landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) to civilian populations worldwide.
EODMU 8's Platoon 811 shared techniques and best practices to ten mine disposal experts from Mozambique. This was the fifth time EODMU 8 supported HMA in Mozambique.
The United States Government estimates that there are still 60-70 million landmines worldwide. The Mozambique mines are primarily remnants of the 1964-1974 War for Independence and the 1977-1992 Civil War.
Because the trainees were all experienced demining workers, the HMA mission was a "train-the trainer" endeavor to ensure the Mozambique mine disposal program become self sustaining. A cadre of trainers able to train new personnel in the localization, removal and rendering safe/destruction of landmines and ERW.
The training was conducted in the classroom and the field, focusing on manual removal and destruction of ERW.
"Now I understand why we do the things we do," said the Mozambique National Demining Institute (IND) Operations Officer. "This showed me what hazards we need to be aware of." He also added that having this increased understanding of the hazards and risk mitigation methods, the trainers can use these skills to train new Mozambique mine disposal personnel.
The Director of IND recognized the hard work put in by EOD, NGOs, and the Mozambique government to eliminate the threat posed by ERW.
"Because of training like this, our country will be free of landmines by the end of 2014," said the Director of IND during the HMA graduation ceremony.
The demining training, as part of HMA, reaffirmed the U.S. Government commitment to Mozambique.
"The HMA Mission in Mozambique provides the United States with a vital role in making a nation devastated by years of conflict more safe, as well as fostering a strong bond between our nations," said Ensign Chris Phillips, Mozanmbique EOD personnel officer in charge.
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