Two British bomb disposal operators have described the importance of passing on their skills to the Afghan National Police (ANP) for the first time.
Soldiers from the British Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Task Force recently finished a training course to teach the ANP how to destroy Taliban roadside bombs in Helmand province.
Corporal Liam Payne, 26, from Newbury, Berkshire, said: “These guys are the first ANP explosive hazard reduction team to be trained and the first police carrying out counter-IED work in Helmand province.
“They’re seen as heroes in their communities and they are the envy of their colleagues.”
His fellow bomb disposal operator, Corporal Aaron McGuffog, 30, from Grimsby, South Humberside, added that the Taliban was “petrified” of Afghan soldiers and police learning the skills to tackle roadside bombs.
Team leader Captain Khan Muhammad said the job was “very dangerous”, but necessary.
“This course benefited my team as they were only search trained before – they could find the IEDs but did not know how to deal with them.
“I volunteered for counter-IED training to make Lashkar Gar a safer place.
“This is a very dangerous job but we do it for the safety of the people of Afghanistan,” he said.