FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii--U.S. Army Pacific's newly established Asia-Pacific Counter - Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Center provides servicemembers stationed in the Pacific access to cutting-edge training in the fight to defeat improvised explosive devices.

Improvised explosive devices or IEDs are currently the leading cause of casualties to troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. IEDs are defined as make-shift or "homemade" bombs often used by enemy forces to destroy military convoys.

"The IED threat and our efforts to defeat the threat are top priorities for the Department of Defense (DoD), the Army and USAPAC," said Col. Stanley Toy, director of the Counter IED Fusion Center with the U.S. Army, Pacific.

"The Asia-Pacific Counter - Improvised Explosive Device Center is focused on defeating the weapon causing the greatest number of casualties in Afghanistan, Iraq and in the Asia-Pacific area of operations," Toy said.

U.S. Army, Pacific's Counter-IED Fusion Center, run by Toy and situated in the command's headquarters at Fort Shafter, was developed to combine intelligence gathering, training and a knowledge center to defeat IEDs in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Asia-Pacific countries where IEDs are an increasing threat.

The curriculum at the Counter IED Center, or "Counter IED University," as Toy puts it, is designed to teach troops at all levels about the basics of counter IED operations. The goal of the course is to give deploying troops greater freedom of movement when they operate in areas where IEDs are regularly used, said Toy.

"The end state is our ability to achieve freedom of movement in theater to deny the insurgents the ability to use IEDs against us," said Toy. "It's through the center that we're able to provide an over-the-shoulder look at what they're going to likely see when they deploy and it will be specific to the area in which they're going to operate."

"Simply put, they (IEDs) are an increasing threat throughout the U.S. Pacific command (PACOM) area of responsibility (AOR). IEDs are the weapon of choice of our adversaries. They are cost effective and achieve the desired results," said Toy. "Through the Asia-Pacific C-IED Center, USARPAC is devoting significant resources to include equipment, personnel, tactics, training and procedures to defeating IEDs."

The C-IED training will be conducted primarily on Army training facilities on Oahu, Toy said.

To combat the threat to the PACOM AOR, the Counter-IED University also plans to offer training to partner countries.

"We understand we have a PACOM responsibility under the theater security cooperation plan to engage with our regional partners," said Toy. "The Asia-Pacific Counter - Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Center will work with our Asian-Pacific allies to develop integrated solutions that balance intelligence, training, and technology."

"We are facing a thinking, evolving enemy who will continue to change methods as we find ways to defeat them. We are also a thinking, adaptive adversary seeking to counter our enemies and anticipate their next moves," Toy concluded.