Air Force Team Aids Afghan Police With Ordnance Disposal
By Tech. Sgt. James Law, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2008 Airmen from the 755th Air Expeditionary Group’s explosive ordnance disposal team recently helped Afghanistan National Police here dispose of unexploded ordnance.
Air Force Senior Airman Sarah Burrill carries unexploded ordnance to load onto a joint explosive ordnance rapid response vehicle. Photo by Tech. Sgt. James Law, USAF
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
"The police chief requested our assistance with removing the UXOs during our last visit," said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Francis Warren, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Bagram Provincial Reconstruction Team’s police technical advisory team.
Warren contacted EOD for assistance.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Steven Nidzgorski, an EOD team leader, said UXOs and landmines pose a serious threat for local citizens and military personnel throughout Afghanistan. In the past six months, Nidzgorski's team has responded to about 15 requests for similar assistance, he said.
Once on site, Nidzgorski assessed the UXOs the Afghan police had gathered to determine the safest method of disposal.
"Preferably, we will destroy them where they are at if at all possible," Nidzgorski said. "But today we couldn't do that because of the proximity of buildings and (their) occupants."
After close examination and deciding the UXOs were safe for transport, Nidzgorski's team loaded them onto a joint EOD rapid response vehicle for transport to a safe place for destruction.
After arriving at what appeared to be a large, open area free of people, structures and crops, Nidzgorski stepped out of the vehicle to survey the terrain. He noticed an Afghan man herding goats in the distance.
"We can either go out there and have him move his goats, or we can go to the range," Nidzgorski said.
Not wanting to disturb the herder, the airmen took the UXOs to a range near Bagram Air Base for destruction.
"It's good to know we are getting them out of the way and making it safer for the Afghans," Nidzgorski said.
(Air Force Tech. Sgt. James Law serves with 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs.)