2018 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Department of Defense Humanitarian Demining Training Center
The Department of Defense Humanitarian Demining Training Center (HDTC), headquartered at Fort Lee, Virginia, is managed and funded by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. HDTC trains and prepares U.S. military forces, U.S. government stakeholders, and international partners to build partner-nation capacity in land-based and underwater unexploded ordnance disposal, and PSSM. In addition to HDTC’s training function, the center provides program management support to the U.S. military’s geographic combatant command mine action programs in USAFRICOM, USCENTCOM, USEUCOM, USPACOM, and USSOUTHCOM. HDTC’s responsibilities include validating humanitarian mine action project plans and budgets, and monitoring and evaluating global Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid (OHDACA) funded humanitarian mine action activities.
HDTC has courses on landmine clearance, battle area clearance, PSSM of conventional stockpiled munitions, and underwater UXO disposal. Training is conducted in accordance with U.S. law and policy, international guidelines governing physical security, ammunition management, and UXO disposal. The HDTC quality management system for the provision of curricula and training in disposal of UXO and physical security of stockpiled conventional munitions is certified to conform to International Organization of Standardization 9001:2008 (https://www.iso.org/standard/46486.html).
The center utilizes a three-phase approach to provide support to the geographic combatant command humanitarian mine action programs. When a partner nation is accepted into the Department of Defense mine action program, HDTC deploys program analysts to assess the current state of a partner nation’s demining program. The assessment, or requirements determination site survey (RDSS), identifies partner nation capability gaps in order to develop humanitarian mine action project objectives and resource requirements to assist the partner nation in achieving its demining goals. The completed RDSS establishes objectives and outcomes that support the request for OHDACA funded resources. The Director of HDTC, in consultation with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency Office of the General Counsel and humanitarian assistance program managers, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Special Operations Low Intensity Conflict, Stability and Humanitarian Affairs, and PM/WRA, approves mine action projects.
HDTC also conducts capacity-building training or technical assistance activities in support of combatant command mine action projects. HDTC personnel provide tools and expertise to perform PSSM, landmine clearance and EOD, and underwater UXO disposal in partnership with other public organizations or private industry. The target audience for capacity building is junior military officers, non-commissioned officers, or civil servants who conduct mine action operations. To sustain the capabilities of partner nation mine action programs, HDTC, in coordination with PM/WRA, executes mine action projects designed to enhance the skills of mine action managers and ministerial or executive level personnel. These projects include seminars and workshops to address legal, policy, and programmatic topics at the operational and strategic level.