By Alhaji Haruna Sani
Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms (SLeNCSA) with support from Mines Advisory Group (MAG) has completed the theoretical training of 12 military personnel including two Operation Support Division (OSD) officers of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) on controlled demolition of explosives ammunitions.
After two weeks of training at the Arm Forces Training Centre (AFTC), the twelve personnel were certified on February 24th at AFTC in Benguema.
In his statement, MAG Technical Field Manager Brahima Coulibaly expressed happiness over the smooth and successful training process. He urged the trainees to focus on the lessons learnt during the theoretical sessions before moving on the practical sessions which he said is going to be more complex.
Ammunition Technical Officer of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Captain Crispin Dumbuya said the struggles to have such training began since 2019, adding that the training will capacitate armed personnel in the safe disposal explosive ammunitions.
“Over this time we have a lot of ammunitions that poses threat within RSLAF and the civil populace but with this training, personnel will be able to do a safe disposal of unplanned or premature explosions thereby keeping the environment very safe,” he said.
He added that over the two weeks training, the twelve personnel were trained on how to identify and detonate different types of ammunition explosives.
Captain Dumbuya said the next phase of the training will include the practical aspect which involves the movement of ammunitions to the five control demolition sites across the country.
“The ammunition will be moved based on their hazard division and compatibility group to avoid further accident,” he concluded.
Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Luke Foday Ndanema, Deputy Commissioner SLeNCSA commended the officers for excellence performance during the training. He emphasized the need of such training especially when there are number of expired ammunitions in barracks which are subject to accidental discharge.
He celebrated MAG for their timely support in actualizing and ensuring that the training was successful. He said detonation of explosives ammunition required technical knowhow which all the twelve personnel have gained.
He urged the personnel to fully put in practice what they learnt from the MAG representative Coulibaly.
Deputy Commissioner informed the personnel that from 13th to 31st of March they would be engaging in field exercise after moving the expired ammunitions to Control Demolition Sites (CDS).
Major Issa Turay, Operations Officer AFTC congratulated the trainees and wished them a professional show of perfection of the objectives of the training undergone.
The event was climaxed with the certification of the twelve military and police personnel that undergone the training.