The US Marine Corps (USMC) and Royal Thai Military have begun the humanitarian mine action (HMA) Levels 1 and 2 explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) training.

The training started on 14 November in Ratchaburi, Thailand.

It involved the participation of marines from the 3rd EOD Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group and Thailand Mine Action Centre (TMAC) students.

The joint effort is part of the US Department of Defense’s HMA programme, which aims to assist and train the partner nations’ forces in the safe disposal of explosive remnants of war and landmines.

The ongoing HMA initiative includes various courses that combine classroom lectures on basic to intermediate EOD techniques, detailed ordnance classes, along with activities to implement the learned skills practically on the field. 

As part of the latest activity, the 3rd EOD Company personnel were deployed to train a total of 28 TMAC students on how to eliminate landmines and unexploded ordinances.

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3rd EOD Company HMA Thailand team leader and USMC gunnery sergeant Jeramie Pawloski said: “This level 1 and 2 is going to be challenging, but I’m confident that this is going to be the best one we’ve had so far.

“We are transitioning now. Marine Forces Pacific EOD is taking a smaller role and the TMAC Demining Training Center instructors are playing a bigger role – taking control of the classes, schedule and training.”

The US-Thailand HMA programme is active since 2013 and plays a crucial role in advancing common security interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

TMAC director general Supathat Narindarabhakdi said: “I hope that everyone will receive knowledge from Thai and US instructors and use all this knowledge to make them more proficient in their work.”