OKINAWA, Japan -- U.S. Marines from 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group recently concluded a successful cycle of Humanitarian Mine Action Level 3 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training with Royal Thai Military Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC) counterparts, in Ratchaburi and Prasat, Kingdom of Thailand, from July 11 to August 5, 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 four-week course combines classroom instruction covering advanced EOD techniques, detailed ordnance classes, and render-safe techniques, along with several range days for practical application of the skills learned on live-ordnance.
Ultimately, during the course of the training the team from 3rd EOD company successfully trained 11 students, who are now better equipped to conduct HMA actions against the adverse effects of landmines and unexploded ordnance on the civilian populace, and able to pass their newfound knowledge on to future TMAC students.
For U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jeramie Pawloski, HMA Thailand Team Leader with 3rd EOD Company, 9th ESB, the latest training cycle was a success for both the U.S. trainers and TMAC students.
“The program design develops the capabilities of TMAC, providing personnel with the technical knowledge and skills required to work in the minefields safely during demining operations. The U.S. Marine instructors that execute these training missions learn just as much from our Thai counterparts and develop professional and personal relationships that the U.S. Marine EOD Technician can benefit from,” said Pawloski.
According to U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Daniel H. Cusinato, Marine Forces Pacific EOD officer and HMA Program Manager for EOD forces, the ongoing success of the HMA EOD program is a perfect encapsulation of the long-standing U.S. alliance with the Kingdom of Thailand.
“The opportunity to work with our Thai partners is always a valuable one, giving TMAC students real-world experience, sharpening the training and knowledge of our own EOD trainers, and most importantly, strengthening the bonds among Marines and Royal Thai Armed Forces service members,” said Cusinato.
3rd MLG, based out of Okinawa, Japan, is a forward deployed combat unit that serves as III Marine Expeditionary Force’s comprehensive logistics and combat service support backbone for operations throughout the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.