07 Feb. 2009
PR# 2009-122

Canadian OMLT graduates 15 ANA soldiers from Basic Engineer Course

KABUL, Afghanistan - Fifteen soldiers from the Afghan National Army (ANA) 205th Corps have completed a four-week Basic Engineers Course that was celebrated with a graduation ceremony today at Camp Hero near Kandahar Air Field.

The course, offered by members of the Canadian Operational Mentoring Liaison Team (OMLT), emphasised principles in mine detection and demolition as well as field operations and carpentry.

“Their biggest job is the clearance and removal of unexploded ordinance on the roads of this country,” Chief Instructor Osmond explained. “This course not only teaches them how to do that, but also gives them the expertise to use the tools we’ve provided, such as mine detectors and how to use them efficiently. They are eager to get out there and get started.”

A graduate of the Basic Engineers course taught by members of the Canadian Operational Mentoring Liaison Team (OMLT) shows off his certificate of completion during a ceremony held at Camp Hero on February 5. (ISAF photo)

Sergeant Mohamed Asmaeil, a former infantryman, was among the 15 soldiers who completed the course. He said he is thankful for the opportunity to serve his country in new ways.

“It was a good opportunity to learn and I feel ready to go out and find those things that may hurt innocent people,” he said. “My brothers will do what we can to keep people safe.”

This is the second course completed by the Canadian OMLT, having graduated 35 soldiers to date and deploying them into the field. Before being sent out, Osmond said they give soldiers more than just knowledge to be efficient.

“We give them tool bags and a Gerber utility tool,” he said. “This is just to show the soldiers we’re confident in their ability to apply what we teach them. It’s great to see them take on this responsibility and hopefully more will follow in their footsteps.”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/