Otavi – U.S. Africa Command recently facilitated the training of 15 Namibian personnel in the identification and disposal of unexploded ordnance as part of the U.S. Government’s Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) program. Training was provided to 10 members of the Namibian Defense Force (NDF) and 5 members of the Namibian Police (NAMPOL).
The training took place at the NDF military base at Otavi at the end of September. Three U.S. Navy instructors facilitated the training with the main focus placed on detection, identification, and disposal of explosive remnants of war, to include landmines, grenades, rockets, and artillery shells. Medical training, including first aid, self-aid, and buddy care was also provided. Each participant received a Certificate of Completion for the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Level 1 Course of Instruction.
The HMA program provides humanitarian mine action assistance to countries suffering from the presence of persistent landmines, which maim and kill innocents, obstruct emergency assistance activities, hamper economic development, and impede free movement of citizens. The extreme danger of unexploded ordnance in Namibia was seen at the end of May, 2018 when an 11-year-old boy died in the Ohangwena Region after a grenade that he and other children were playing with exploded. Three other children between the age of four and seven were injured.
U.S. Africa Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, is one of six of the U.S. Defense Department’s regional military headquarters and has administrative responsibility for U.S. military support to U.S. government policy in Africa, to include military-to-military relationships with 54 African nations.