By Ms. Katherine Belcher (Japan)September 23, 2013
OKINAWA, Japan (Sept. 19, 2013) -- U.S. Army Pacific Command instructors were on Okinawa last week training Soldiers from different units how to use Improvised Explosive Device Effects Simulation training kits.
The kits are available through the Training Support Center on Torii Station and consist of wireless and manual tripwires and control devices to simulate the IED threat that Soldiers might face in combat situations around the world.
Six Soldiers from 1-1 Air Defense Artillery, 53rd Signal Battalion and 10th Regional Support Group participated in the train-the-trainer instruction, which was conducted on Torii Station and at Range 17 on Camp Hansen.
The Soldiers will take back and share with their units the knowledge they gained during the week of training, which included classroom instruction and hands-on demonstrations at the range. Soldiers utilized a non-pyrotechnic kit comprised of pressure devices, suicide vests and push-pull booby traps. The devices use carbon dioxide canisters, white powder and small plastic cups to create the visual and audio effects of an explosive device -- and they are incredibly realistic.
Instructors trained participants on how to operate the non-pyrotechnic scalable signature device, which is used indoors and outdoors to simulate large and small IEDs. The NPSSD is activated using a module control unit that remotely detonates the device.
This is the first time this particular training has been offered on Okinawa, according to instructor Lewis Jefferson, who was joined by lead trainer Aaron Nakashima -- both of whom work with the USARPAC mobile training unit at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.
"This training is incredibly beneficial for Soldiers because it prepares them for being down range and teaches them what to do if and when they come across an IED," said Jefferson. "This training is needed more than ever as USARPAC expands. Isolated locations like Guam and Okinawa need access to this kind training and that is why the mobile unit is so important."
One Soldier taking part in the training is a medic with 1-1 ADA at Kadena Air Base. SPC Michael Douglas was grateful for the opportunity to attend and said the training will make him a better medic.
"Our leadership likes the concept of training as you fight and this is a higher level of training. It is curriculum development level and you can tell the leadership put a lot of thought into this training," said Douglas. "It is multi-purpose and a great tool for anyone going down range and I want to thank my leadership for allowing me the opportunity to attend such a realistic exercise."