Virginia Guard team works with Tajikistan on Security Cooperation

Members of the Tajik Army listen to 2nd Lt. Alexander Nance of the Virginia National Guard’s 237th Engineer Company during an engagement with the Tajik Army on small-unit tactics and Improvised Explosive Device avoidance Sept. 12, 2012 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. (Photo courtesy of the Virginia Guard State Partnership Program)

SANDSTON, Va. – Soldiers of the Virginia Army National Guard completed an engagement with the Tajik Army on small-unit tactics and Improvised Explosive Device avoidance on Sept. 12, 2012. Capt. Jack Nothstine, from the 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute at Fort Pickett, led the team, along with 2nd Lt. Alexander Nance, 237th Engineer Company, and Sgt. Kevin Hundley, Headquarters Support Company, 276th Engineer Battalion.

Tajikistan, formerly part of the Soviet Union, is located in Central Asia, directly north of Afghanistan. The Virginia Guard began the partnership with Tajikistan in 2004, only a few years after the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. Since then Virginia and Tajikistan have cooperated on dozens of mutually beneficial events. Tajik military leaders have become increasingly concerned about the weapons and tactics employed by Islamic militants, including their use of IEDs.

Virginia Guard partnership teams include Soldiers with experience in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, where they inevitably gained exposure to IEDs.