By Sgt. Beth Lake (USARCENT)October 14, 2010
Members of the Third Army/U.S. Army Central (Third Army) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team and the DoD Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program partnered with members of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Sept. 20 through 24 for an EOD seminar in Beirut, Lebanon.
More than 40 Soldiers, NCOs and officers attended the information exchange on EOD and demining operations and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) operations.
"The focus of this event is to allow the Third Army team to present current U.S. Army EOD best practices, and for both armies to exchange lessons learned from their respective experiences and best practices," said Lt. Col. Frank Davis, Third Army EOD officer. "This event will serve as a relationship builder between the LAF and Third Army in the development of counter-improvised explosive device (IED) defeat capabilities, CBRN and demining operations."
Participants toured the Lebanon Mine Action Center and received briefings on Lebanon's current demining situation before attending a hands- on portion of the class where they received a presentation on EOD tools, methods and procedures.
"During the practical exercise, about 40 Soldiers received a scenario briefing and were required to develop a plan of action to render safe or neutralize multiple improvised explosive devices," said Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Fitch, Third Army EOD operations NCO. "This exercise was very educational and informative as the Soldiers were broken down into two teams and developed response procedures to IED themed scenarios."
An important outcome from this exercise was for students to be able to make decisions and think clearly while wearing the EOD bomb suit in extreme heat and stressful conditions, said Davis.
Davis explained EOD information exchanges and seminars increase interoperability between the 20 countries in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. He also said EOD exchanges have expanded the relationship between Third Army's EOD team and the LAF Engineering Regiment.
"EOD exchanges like this give us the opportunity to work with a large number of EOD Soldiers at one