DSCA Director Heidi Grant and a delegation from DSCA recently paid a visit to the Humanitarian Demining Training Center (HDTC). HDTC is one of seven component agencies that fall under DSCA.
Located at Ft. Lee in Virginia, HDTC serves as the Department of Defense (DoD) lead for training ally and partner nation personnel to build capacity in explosives remnants of war (ERW) disposal and the physical security and stockpile management (PSSM) of conventional stockpiled munitions. HDTC’s staff serve as DoD’s sole humanitarian mine action (HMA) subject matter experts, providing critical project development guidance and management oversight to Combatant Command HMA assistance programs.
HMA is a part of DSCA’s Humanitarian Assistance program, which is funded by the Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid (OHDACA) appropriation. OHDACA funds activities that build the capacity of an ally or partner nation government to provide essential humanitarian services to the civilian population, and supports ally and partner nation efforts to reduce the risk of, prepare for, and respond to humanitarian disasters, thereby reducing reliance on international disaster relief assistance.
While visiting HDTC, Director Grant; CMSgt Daniel Simpson, the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Director; Col Malcolm Pharr, DSCA Senior Military Assistant to the Director; and Mr. James Miner, DSCA Division Chief for Humanitarian Assistance, Disaster Relief, and Mine Action met with staff to discuss the HDTC mission and general Security Cooperation community issues. They also took a tour of HDTC’s facilities which include a 7.4-acre student training area with five different training sites including: (1) landmine clearance; (2) battle area clearance; (3) PSSM; (4) Explosive Ordnance Disposal; and (5) Humanitarian Demining Research, and Development Organization detection lanes. During this portion of the visit, they participated in HDTC training exercises.
Director Grant explained to the HDTC team that while she oversees a vast portfolio of programs under the Security Cooperation mission-set, OHDACA programs are particularly important to her personally. Not only do they provide unique military and civilian Security Cooperation solutions to remedy a deadly problem for many countries, but she also managed the OHDACA account when she worked at the Office of the Secretary of Defense Comptroller earlier in her career.