Brief History about ANAMA National Training Team
The Training and Quality Assurance Team was established in 2001 within the Operations Department of the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA). Since 2002 it consists of only national staff and operates without any external technical support. In 2008 this team was transformed to the Training, Survey and Quality Assurance Division (TSQAD), acting under the direct command of ANAMA Director.
19 men TSQAD being fully empowered and equipped is acting under the command of ANAMA Director only. TSQAD has been internationally recognized as a competent unit to conduct an HMA related training courses and Quality Assurance, which eventually resulted with the series of foreign requests on training and QA/QC. For example: NATO requested to train a military company Georgia Republic, Government of Turkey requested to for training its Defense Industry engineers, and other Turkish commercial company preferred ANAMA to train civilians for clearing the Syrian border from land mines. All of requests are fulfilled in highest level of conformity
Division’s key roles:
ANAMA’s TSQA-Division was established in 2001 to meet the national mine action’s training and quality assurance needs. Since its establishment, TSQAD has been involved in a number of in-country and overseas training courses rendered through the professional trainers from the UN, US EUCOM, US MARINES, US Defense Geospatial Intelligence School, GICHD, James Madison University, John Hopkins University, Cranfield University, Mines Advisory Group, Armor Group, RONCO, Way Industry, and technical advisors from a number of leading HMA organizations. In present, our staff owns a certificates on more than 30 different training courses. At the moment, TSQAD is fully nationalized and acting without any external technical support.
Training Achievements: 2001-2012
Since 2001 till now the division’s Training and Monitoring Team has delivered 130 Humanitarian Mine Action related training courses and trained 1300 trainees. 297 out the 1300 total number of trainees were foreign students. For additional information on the foreign students trained by the Information Department.
Trained foreign staff:
In 2011 ANAMA has won a NATO/NSPA tender for training and conducting a mentoring over the Georgian military. The objectives were to conduct 9 training courses and 5 month on-the-job training and mentoring in Georgia, and prepare a Georgian national capacity to eliminate an existing mine and ERW impact in their country. TSQAD owns necessary certified training aids including “D-Mine” wireless training mine and IED simulators.
QA - Monitoring evaluations
TSQAD instructors conduct continuous monitoring evaluations over the: safety, procedures, equipment, following the SOP, quality of operations, demolitions, logistics, and medical support. Aspects above are approached by observing, recording, instructing and reporting steps. Eventually, all identified problems and shortcomings are reported to ANAMA HQs. Besides the monitoring done in Azerbaijan, TSQAD has been involved in QA in Georgia and Turkey as well.
QC - External Quality Control
Division’s External Quality Control Team based on the requirements of IMAS, NMAS, and QA SOP fulfills an external Quality Control (sampling) over the areas cleared by the implementing demining units and NGOs in Azerbaijan. The goal is to make sure that the areas are cleared in compliance with the standards and requirements up to the predetermined depth and the land is free from all explosive devices and safe for end users. Normally, all found non-conformities are investigated and resulted with corrective actions. Besides the QC in Azerbaijan, EQC Team 3 times have been contracted to conduct Quality Control in Turkey.
TSQAD fulfills preliminary investigations in case of incidents, such as mine / UXO accidents, discovering of nonconformities, damages to property, infringement of disciplinary rules and etc. The objective is to find out the reasons of the problems and prevent the personnel, land’s end user and property from being hurt and damaged. In case of a need, ANAMA Director arranges a BOI and nominates a TSQAD in a role of participant.
Division is also responsible for Non-technical survey. All of the registered mine and ERW areas are periodically controlled on the probable changes that are often triggered by different factors. Information gathering and topographical methods of survey used for supporting of the land-release missions as well. Moreover, in case of newly found dangerous areas, division conducts landmine impact-survey and provides this information to ANAMA’s Information and Operation departments for further analysis and decision making.
Testing of equipment and procedures
Prior making a decision on a purchase of a new piece of equipment, and/or implementing a mine clearance related procedures, ANAMA HQ requests TSQA-Division to test those mentioned above needs. Eventually, a decision on buying a demining related tools and implementing the procedures are normally depended on the trial’s positive results.
Upon the request from ANAMA Operations department on staff evaluation, TSQA-Division implements the knowledge and demining skills evaluation of existing field personnel including all field personnel such as Site Supervisors, team/section leaders, deminers, mine MDD and MDM staff. For such evaluations, a division uses various wireless training landmine simulators which buried like a real mines and in case of infringement of SOPs and technical guidelines, those mines send a sound and light signals to the electronic monitors when a mine is initiated. Eventually division provides ANAMA Director and Operations Department on the results of evaluations for further decisions.
The Centre is equipped with different type of demining tools, personal protection equipment and paramedic services to support the conduct of practical exercises in and out the base. It also possesses a number of ‘state of the art’ training aids, such as extensive range of verified inert munitions, inert cut-away mine and UXO models, various types of mine detectors, ferrous locators, ground penetrating radars, and etc. For development purposes of the national training and demining capacity, ANAMA purchased 4 sets of very effective electronic Anti-Personal blast land-mine simulators BT-R200, Anti-Personal Trip-Wire initiated land-mine simulators BT-R300 and IED-R100 wireless improvised explosive device simulators from a Swedish company. These wireless training sets of mine and IED simulators allow instructors to conduct more realistic training and evaluation of existing demining staff. Mine Detection Dogs and Mechanical Demining Machines (mini & midi flails & EODBOT - Bobcat T250) are also available where needed to complement training in operations integration.
The list of the national and international training courses fulfilled by ANAMA TSQA-Division in 2012
Since 2001, the Training and Monitoring section has delivered 109 courses covering entry-level competencies in basic HMA to advanced operations in railway clearance and demining operations integration. The principal fields of training have included:
So far ANAMA has trained national mine action operators for Georgia, Afghanistan, Turkey and Tajikistan.
ANAMA is able to provide IMAS compliant training programs in the following areas:
The proximity of the Mine Action Resource and Training Centre in Goygol to the several ANAMA’s operations sites, namely the Saloglu munitions clearance project in Agstafa district and mine clearance operations in Goranboy and Terter districts provide the opportunity to observe and practice live operations.
ANAMA’s Mine Action Resource and Training Centre is located in Goygol region, some 360 kms west of the capital city Baku and approximately 10 km from Ganja, the second largest city in Azerbaijan.
The Centre is equipped with sufficient demining tools, personal protection equipment and paramedic services to support the conduct of practical clearance and EOD exercises for a minimum of 35 trainees. It also possesses a number of ‘state of the art’ training aids, such as the D-Mine simulation system and advanced CPR and acute trauma care simulators. The Centre also possesses an extensive range of verified explosive-free munitions for identification purposes, cut-away mine and UXO models for training in fuses and operational fuse-arming and various types of detectors, locators and search heads used in manual demining and BAC. MDD and mechanical assets (mini & midi ground-penetrating flails & EODBOT - Bobcat T250) are also available where needed to complement training in operations integration.
ANAMA hosted Vietnam delegation
On 1-5 May, 2011 ANAMA hosted delegation from Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, as well as representatives from Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Labor and GICHD Senior Expert Ms. Vera Bohle. Purpose of the visit was observation and learning from the institutional capacities that have been developed by the ANAMA, in terms of both functional departments as well as field works coordinated/conducted by the Agency.
On 2 May, 2011 the representatives paid a visit to ANAMA Goygol Regional Base where they have been briefed by TSQA Division Leader E.Gasimov on the activities of TSQA division including information on new methods and methodologies applied for enhancing training, survey, monitoring/QA/QC procedures.
On 3 May, 2011 Vietnam delegation paid a visit to Agstafa region to get acquainted with the joint NATO/NAMSA and ANAMA project on the identification and destruction of all surface and immediate subsurface UXOs and explosive hazards in the former military base near Saloglu village. The briefing on current status of the Project has been delivered by Agstafa region Chief Supervisor in the situ.
The official meeting of Vietnam delegation finalized with the meeting in ANAMA HQ with Agency Director and HQ staff.
ANAMA conducts clearance operations in Turkey
During 2012 ANAMA also conducted UXO clearance operations in Karapınar settlement of Konya, Turkey in a military shooting range. Operations were conducted within the contract signed between ANAMA and Roketsan Rocket Industry and Trade Co. Within the project 72.000 sq.m of land was cleared and 407 UXOs were found and destroyed.
Besides above mentioned projects, ANAMA is also seriously involved in tender procedures for the clearance of land borders along Turkish and Syrian borders.
This tender is announced by Turkish National Defense Ministry and covers the clearance of mines along the borders between Turkey and Syria. The documentation stage has been completed and all the necessary papers were submitted to the relevant organs. Currently the discussions are carried out on the final tender procedures.
Integration of MDD in manual and mechanical clearance operations
Although MDDs cannot replace manual mine clearance, they are a powerful tool when used in combination with manual and mechanical clearance.
In 2010 ANAMA’s mine detection dog trainers started developing a local capacity of mine detecting dogs to support mine clearance operations in Azerbaijan. The first step in this process was the training of two German Shepherd puppies, Aron and Abrek, born in January 2011. After passing accreditation test in April 2012, Aron and Abrek are successfully operating in the live minefields in three regions of Azerbaijan – Fizuli, Agdam and Agstafa. The day of August 01, 2012 was significantly earmarked for the whole ANAMA personnel as Aron, born and trained in Goygol International Mine Action Resource and Training Center has found his first three anti-tank mines. This serves as a highest appraisal for all those who were involved in Aron and Abrek’s training.