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Afghan Lt. Omed Khan, an explosive ordnance disposal team leader, works to disarm a simulated bomb during training at Forward Operating Base Eagle in Zabul province, Afghanistan. U.S. troops from the 162nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company from nearby FOB Apache are conducting the training.  Khan is with the 2nd Brigade, 205th Core, Route Clearance Company of the Afghan National Army.

Afghan Lt. Omed Khan, an explosive ordnance disposal team leader, works to disarm a simulated bomb during training at Forward Operating Base Eagle in Zabul province, Afghanistan. U.S. troops from the 162nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company from nearby FOB Apache are conducting the training. Khan is with the 2nd Brigade, 205th Core, Route Clearance Company of the Afghan National Army. (Alex Pena/Stars and Stripes)

Afghan Lt. Omed Khan, an explosive ordnance disposal team leader, works to disarm a simulated bomb during training at Forward Operating Base Eagle in Zabul province, Afghanistan. U.S. troops from the 162nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company from nearby FOB Apache are conducting the training.  Khan is with the 2nd Brigade, 205th Core, Route Clearance Company of the Afghan National Army.

Afghan Lt. Omed Khan, an explosive ordnance disposal team leader, works to disarm a simulated bomb during training at Forward Operating Base Eagle in Zabul province, Afghanistan. U.S. troops from the 162nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company from nearby FOB Apache are conducting the training. Khan is with the 2nd Brigade, 205th Core, Route Clearance Company of the Afghan National Army. (Alex Pena/Stars and Stripes)

Afghan Lt. Omed Khan looks for signs of a bomb during a training course at Forward Operating Base Eagle in Zabul province, Afghanistan. Khan's unit has been training once a week since December in preparation to take over control of such missions in Zabul after coalition troops leave Afghanistan in 2014. Khan is an explosive ordnance disposal team leader with the 2nd Brigade, 205th Core, Route Clearance Company of the Afghan National Army.

Afghan Lt. Omed Khan looks for signs of a bomb during a training course at Forward Operating Base Eagle in Zabul province, Afghanistan. Khan's unit has been training once a week since December in preparation to take over control of such missions in Zabul after coalition troops leave Afghanistan in 2014. Khan is an explosive ordnance disposal team leader with the 2nd Brigade, 205th Core, Route Clearance Company of the Afghan National Army. (Alex Pena/Stars and Stripes)

First Lt. Preston Gentry, with the 162nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 3rd Ordnance Battalion at Forward Operating Base Apache, Afghanistan, debriefs Afghan National Army soldiers based at FOB Eagle. During training, the Afghan soldiers successfully disarmed a simulated bomb. Gentry is preparing Afghan National Army to take control of explosive ordnance disposal missions in Zabul province from coalition troops who are leaving Afghanistan in 2014.

First Lt. Preston Gentry, with the 162nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 3rd Ordnance Battalion at Forward Operating Base Apache, Afghanistan, debriefs Afghan National Army soldiers based at FOB Eagle. During training, the Afghan soldiers successfully disarmed a simulated bomb. Gentry is preparing Afghan National Army to take control of explosive ordnance disposal missions in Zabul province from coalition troops who are leaving Afghanistan in 2014. (Alex Pena/Stars and Stripes)

Soldiers from the 162nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company are helping their Afghan counterparts deal with the biggest threat they face — the improvised explosive device, or IED.

Roughly every week since December, the U.S. EOD team has been going to Forward Operating Base Eagle, which is completely Afghan run, helping to train the Afghan EOD unit during simulated missions.

With most of the EOD resources centrally located with Afghan units at FOB Eagle, the goal is to train as many explosive experts and engineers as possible, so they can cover the entire province of Zabul, before U.S. combat troops pull out completely in 2014.

Part of that plan is a program called “train-the-trainers.”

pena.alex@stripes.com


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