By Staff Sgt. Tanya ThomasSeptember 22, 2010
RAMADI, Iraq (Army News Service, Sept. 22, 2010) -- Members of the Iraqi Police here are schooling up on counter-improvised explosive device techniques thanks to a week-long course taught by explosive ordnance disposal Soldiers.
The class, taught by a team of Soldiers with the 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, offers six recent Iraqi Counter Explosives Team course graduates a refresher course on EOD fundamentals. The class includes demolition procedures, protection of buildings from blasts and fragmentation, and moving objects with ropes.
The primary mission of advise and assist brigades is to advise, train and assist Iraqi Security Forces, which includes army, police and border patrol.
"We're going over the basics," said Spc. Tyler Wend, with the 731st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, and one of the course instructors. "This is important because they need to be able to sustain their country on their own and learn how to (counter IEDs) without us being there."
The class, which began with instruction on how to properly tie knots, offered the Iraqi Police a condensed version of the U.S. Army EOD course. Training became more complex and comprehensive on the second day, as the Iraqi team practiced countering simulated IEDs.
"This is a somewhat 'down and dirty' version of (the yearlong U.S. Army EOD class)," Wend said. "We're teaching the same principles."
The sergeant major with the Ramadi EOD said the class was challenging and allowed his team to make mistakes during training so that they do not make mistakes when the scenarios become real.
"We'll learn from our mistakes and continue to train," he said, as he thanked the 731st EOD team for hosting the class. "We need this information. It's very beneficial."
The platoon leader, 1st Lt. Karl Wagner, said training was especially important to him on a personal level and that the Iraqi Police are members of the Army team.
"I feel that they are part of our EOD family," he said. "They should have the same information (about countering IEDs) that we have so that whenever we leave (Iraq), they can still keep doing their job and keep this country safe. This course is designed to help them protect their lives in the future."
Wend agreed, saying he hopes they use the training to protect civilians who can't protect themselves from the threat IEDs.
This class is scheduled to finish Sept. 26, and the 731st EOD team plans to train another group of IP EOD students right after that.
(Staff Sgt. Tanya Thomas writes for 4th AAB, 3rd ID, USD-C)