U.S. Army delegates pause for a photograph with Bangladeshi Army members after the opening ceremony of the Exercise Tiger Lightning 2022 March 20, 2022, at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training center in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The exercise reinforced the partnership between the Oregon National Guard and the Bangladesh Armed Forces under the State Partnership Program. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)
U.S. Army delegates pause for a photograph with Bangladeshi Army members after the opening ceremony of the Exercise Tiger Lightning 2022 March 20, 2022, at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training center in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The exercise reinforced the partnership between the Oregon National Guard and the Bangladesh Armed Forces under the State Partnership Program. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

GAZIPUR, Bangladesh — In the hot sun at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations Training, U.S. military service members partnered with their Bangladeshi counterparts to participate in the Tiger Lightning 2022 training exercise March 19-31.

Members of the 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, the Oregon Army National Guard, and two members from the 303rd Ordnance Battalion (EOD), based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, took part in the two-week exercise.

Tiger Lightning 2022 is a bilateral exercise sponsored by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and hosted by the Bangladesh Armed Forces to strengthen Bangladesh defense readiness and interoperability and reinforce the partnership between the Bangladesh Armed Forces and Oregon State National Guard. The two have been partners under the National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program since 2008.

Approximately 36 U.S. personnel participated in this field training exercise, focusing on combined operations training and regional crisis response capabilities. The Oregon National Guard assisted with key subject matter experts, focusing on the “E” in explosive ordnance disposal and counter-improvised explosive device training.

“What I am seeing from this is that people are exchanging experiences,” said Oregon Army National Guard Lt. Col. Demain San Miguel, lead planner for the exercise. “The people know their equipment, they know the capabilities, but they’re sharing their experiences from Mali, Iraq and Afghanistan on how the equipment worked and didn’t work, as well as how you can use the equipment together.”

One such piece of equipment the Bangladeshis use is a small, remote-controlled drone in the traditional forces. This commercially produced equipment can give the user all the data they need in a situation while mitigating huge risks for an individual. The Bangladeshi bomb technicians demonstrated by investigating a parked vehicle with an IED inside. The bomb tech used the little drone to inspect the vehicle from a safe distance, then used a remote-controlled wheeled robot with a mechanical claw to remove the IED for detonation.

“I have been impressed by the proficiency of the Bangladesh armed forces in the C-IED field,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Dean, a C-IED subject matter expert assigned to the Oregon National Guard.

The Oregon delegates noted that the Bangladesh military has experience with U.N. peacekeeping operations.

“They are much further along in their EOD program than one would think,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Grant Holman, a bomb technician assigned to the 303rd Ordnance Battalion. “They have enough working knowledge that their EOD techs would probably pass our EOD training school. They are very capable and understand the actual threats, which makes sense because of their real-world U.N. deployments.”

“Absolutely, 100 percent. It’s very clear that these officers who have deployed to Mali and the Congo know their C-IED procedures. They have different equipment than what we normally use, but they have good procedures built in that helps them unitize all the equipment that they do have very effectively.” said Lt. Col. San Miguel.

San Miguel hopes to have the Bangladeshi C-IED crew visit Oregon in the near future so that they can continue their training on what has been a successful State Partnership Program exercise in the realm of C-IED and EOD training.

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