OSCE facilitates a US Delegation visit to Regional Hazards Training Centre

On 15 February 2024, the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe (POiD) had the immense privilege of hosting Ms. Rachel Schiller, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Programs and Operations in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and Mr. Rodney A. Robideau, the U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction Program Manager from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement at the Regional Explosive Hazards Training Centre (REHTC) of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Tajikistan .

During their visit, the esteemed guests were warmly welcomed by the OSCE POiD Officer-in-Charge, Jukka Tuononen, and Integrated Co-operation on Explosive Hazards Programme Officer, Sonja Stanisavljevic who provided an overview of the ongoing training and upcoming project activities, which have been supported by the U.S. Government as of mid- 2013.

Major-General Sharaf Egamzod, Tajikistan’s Deputy Minister of Defence also extended a warm welcome to the delegation and highlighted the priorities of the Ministry of Defence within the framework of the training co-operation with the United States Army Central (USARCENT).

The REHTC’s Director, Colonel Sulaimon Qodirzoda, provided a comprehensive presentation of centre’s training activities.

The high-level visit coincided with the regional Explosive Ordnance Disposal Level 3 (EOD3) training, attended by participants from Kazakhstan, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan . Within the framework of EOD3, the distinguished guests had the opportunity to observe and be engaged in two practical exercises, where participants showcased technical knowledge and skills obtained in hook and line techniques, as well as in the safe removal and detachment of detonators using sticky tape and ropes.

The REHTC officers also presented demining equipment, provided by the USARCENT, which is being used during the conduct of EOD training.

During the meeting, all project partners underlined the vital role of the OSCE in fostering regional co-operation and co-ordination on explosive hazards reduction in Central Asia. Such partnership has been instrumental in promoting peace, stability, and security across the region.

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