RATCHABURI, Kingdom of Thailand --
U.S. Marines from 3rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, commenced Humanitarian Mine Action Levels 1 and 2 Explosive Ordnance Disposal training with Royal Thai Military Thailand Mine Action Center counterparts, in Ratchaburi, Kingdom of Thailand, November 14, 2022.
HMA is an ongoing program between the U.S. and Kingdom of Thailand to provide training in order to build partner capacity in safe disposal of existing landmines and explosive remnants of war. The courses combine classroom instruction covering basic to intermediate EOD techniques, detailed ordnance classes, and disposal techniques, along with several range days for practical application of the skills learned.
Ultimately, during the course of the training the team from 3rd EOD Company will train 28 students, directly contributing to Thailand’s ability to conduct HMA and eliminate the threat of landmines and unexploded ordinance.
Photo by Cpl. Moises Rodriguez
Sgt. Phanuwat Lohaporm, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal student with the Thailand Mine Action Center, determines the type and state of the ordnance during an EOD reconnaissance practical application drill at Fort Bhanurangsi, Ratchaburi, Thailand, November 17, 2022. Royal Thai and American Armed Forces work together to train TMAC students in EOD level 1-2 in order to develop an EOD capacity to assist TMAC’s mission of becoming landmine free. This partnership is aligned with the U.S. Department of Defense’s HMA Program, which assists partnered nations affected by landmines, explosive remnants of war, and the hazardous effects of unexploded ordnance.
“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,” said U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jeramie Pawloski, HMA Thailand Team Leader with 3rd EOD Co., 9th ESB.
According to Pawloski, the months of preparation that went into this iteration of training will pay dividends as the Royal Thailand Mine Action Center instructors take a larger role.
“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,” explained Pawloski.
“I feel honored to be the person to open EOD level 1 and 2 training. Here we are at engineering school, it’s a place that provides knowledge especially in the subject of mine warfare. I hope that everyone will receive knowledge from the Thai and US instructors and use all this knowledge to make them more proficient in their work." General Supathat Narindarabhakdi, director general of the Thailand Mine Action Center
General Supathat Narindarabhakdi, director general of the Thailand Mine Action Center, also expressed his excitement for the latest evolution of HMA training.
“I feel honored to be the person to open EOD level 1 and 2 training. Here we are at engineering school, it’s a place that provides knowledge especially in the subject of mine warfare. I hope that everyone will receive knowledge from the Thai and US instructors and use all this knowledge to make them more proficient in their work,” said Narindarabhakdi.
The U.S.-Kingdom of Thailand HMA program has been active since 2013, and is key to advancing shared security interests and commitments in the Indo-Pacific, simultaneously strengthening U.S. Marines relationships with their Royal Thai Armed Forces partners, and working together to eliminate mines, unexploded ordnance, and explosive remnants of war.