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Afghans will be ready to take up the IED challenge by 2014 says ISAF

Ahead of the annual Counter IED conference in London this June, the ISAF Counter-IED (improvised explosive device) Chief of Staff has stated that he is confident that Afghan forces will be both trained and equipped to a sufficient standard to take on the role of defeating the insurgent devices when coalition forces are eventually withdrawn from Afghanistan.

In a recent Defence IQ podcast interview, Lt. Col. Martin Gliniecki of the British Armed Forces and head of the strategy at HQ ISAF to counter the ever-present threat of IEDs, forecast the readiness of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) by 2014.

“The start of the training is overseen by NTMA (NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan), setting the standards required, so only then will we allow either soldiers or a contractor to train against that requirement, and therefore we are pretty confident that they are trained and assessed to the right competencies,” he said.

“Certainly no EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) Afghan will be going out without the right equipment if, we as ISAF, as mentors, are doing our jobs properly.

“In the timeframe of 2014, we should be able to develop, with our current strategy, the right number of EOD teams with the right capabilities and equipment in time. That’s certainly the plan.”

Gliniecki went on to point out that a decrease in casualties will be an encouragement to Afghan forces when the hand-over takes place.

The overall strategy is being driven by General David Petraeus’s campaign plan, which includes the three elements of protecting the population, supporting the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), and neutralising the insurgent network.

The interview also details the methods that Afghan troops undertake in their training, and elaborated on the process of feeding back frontline information to the commanders formulating strategy and equipment requirements.

Gliniecki will be running a live video stream session from Afghanistan at the 5th Annual Counter IED conference to cover these issues in detail.

The 2011 event, hosted by Defence IQ, is set to present focused sessions that include analysis by the U.K. MoD on staying ahead of the evolving IED capabilities, U.S. Army insight into the use of forensics to trace networks more effectively, and multinational approaches to training and coordination in order to meet national objectives.

The full audio interview can be listened to at http://bit.ly/iS1HC9.

To find out more about the event, which will take place on June 20-22 in London, visit http://www.c-ieds.com. Alternatively, call +44 (0) 20 7368 9334, or email defence@iqpc.co.uk.

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