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NEWS | Jan. 10, 2012

Virginia Guard Engineers work with Tajikistani troops

By Staff Reports

A group of Virginia Army National Guard Soldiers traveled to Tajikistan Nov. 10- 17 to conduct a four-day engineer workshop with members of the Tajikistani military. 

One officer and three noncommissioned officers made the trek to Dushanbe in an effort to work with Tajikistani military engineers on issues commonly faced assisting the local civil authorities in a natural disaster, according to 1st Lt. Artur Taryan of the 180th Engineer Company.

“We accomplished this by conducting a total of 13 workshop topics that were structured toward the audience and required interaction,” he said. “The workshop was concluded with a practical exercise that utilized all the skills taught.”

In addition to Taryan, the Virginia Guard Soldiers who participated in the mission were Sgt. 1st Class Crayton Houston, 91st Troop Command, Staff Sgt. Danny Adkins, 1033rd Engineer Company, and Sgt. Joseph Buckner, 189th Engineer Company.

A total of 13 Tajikistani officers, most of whom were captains and majors, participated in the workshop. The topics covered during the week included- Conduct an Engineer Route Reconnaissance; Prepare an Operation Order; Conduct Troop-leading Procedures; Determine the Radius of a Curve; Determine the Percent of Slope; Determine Stream Velocity; Prepare a Ford Reconnaissance Report; Prepare an Engineer Reconnaissance Report; Perform a Route Classification; Collect Information During a Route Reconnaissance; Prepare Route Reconnaissance Map Overlay; Plan an Engineer Reconnaissance Operation; and Conduct a Route Reconnaissance Mission.

In the practical exercise, the Tajikistani military officers received an operations order based on a natural disaster scenario. They then planned and executed a mission with the advice of the Virginia National Guard Soldiers.

“The interpreters and the Tajikistani class leadership articulated their extreme pleasure with the course and even presented small gifts to the team,” Taryan said “We were told this was the one of the better workshops, and the reason was due to good prior planning and having a skilled team.”
This workshop not only helped the Tajikistani military officers with engineer skills but solidified the engineer information in the trainers.

“The Virginia Army National Guard has now five more Soldiers with greater experience in route reconnaissance and working with foreign military,” Taryan said. “This is clearly a win-win situation for Tajikistan and the Virginia Army National Guard. We both gain valuable experience which will be shared throughout the units.”

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