Coastguardsman train in counter-IED class
November 27, 2009
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Counter-improvised explosive device training can mean the difference between life and death for any service member who travels outside the wire on convoys.
A C-IED level two training class was held Nov. 19 at Debro Range at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, featuring members of the U.S. Coast Guard for the first time.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Alan R. Hoock, a C-IED and electronic warfare officer with the 90th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Columbia, Ill., native, said the purpose of the training was to teach service members how to protect themselves and their equipment from IEDs.
"This class will give them a perspective of what an IED is, what types are being used and how to protect themselves," he said.
Hoock stressed vigilance, observance, preparedness and knowing what to look for.
There are three different levels of C-IED training, all of which can be taught at JBB.
Hoock said level one training is an hour-long overview that usually takes place at Camp Buerhing, Kuwait, during the mobilization process.
"In level two, we conduct a class and actually go out and do a walk-through lane and a drive-through lane, in which we place IEDs in various places on or near roads," he said.
The level three class lasts three days and, in addition to level two training, participants learn how to be instructors themselves, he said.
Hoock said he usually conducts training once a month, but the frequency depends on how many people request the training and on the availability of the range. He also said this was the first time the Coast Guard trained on C-IED level two.
"We contacted them, they said they would be interested in attending and then we scheduled a time and date," he said.
Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin D. Rosen, a hazardous materials inspector with the Coast Guard Redeployment Assistance and Inspection Detachment, said he learned a lot about identifying different types of IEDs and how to spot them on the road.
"Overall the day was a success," he said. "We identified all the IEDs, had good classroom training and, if we are in a convoy, it will be very useful."
Rosen, a Jacksonville Fla., native, said his favorite part of the class was going out in vehicles to look for mock IEDs and exiting the vehicles to inspect them more closely.
"I like training that is more hands on," he said. "This training is very important. The more experience you have in dealing with it, the better."
Staff Sgt. Phillip Duby, an operations noncommissioned officer for the 90th Sustainment Brigade, and Saginaw, Mich., native, said he wanted the students to always practice situational awareness when they leave the base.
"I want them to know what to look for, what the dangers are and what you can do to protect yourself," said Duby. "I am happy with giving them the knowledge that could help save their lives."