News: The Canadian Armed Forces contribute to strengthening the capabilities of Iraqi forces in the face of explosion risks, 21-March-2018
In February and March of this year, a Canadian Armed Forces explosives threat training team conducted an explosives threat research training course for Iraqi security force trainers.
This course was held at the Iraqi Army Bomb Disposal School in Besmaya, Iraq, as part of NATO’s Training and Capacity Building Partnership with Iraqi Security Forces. It was developed in accordance with Canadian Armed Forces doctrine and standards to help Iraqi security forces acquire the skills necessary to locate and identify explosion hazards.
Seventeen students from various units of the Iraqi security forces came to the bomb disposal school from front-line units, bringing with them a wealth of battlefield experience. The Canadian trainers quickly established a strong professional relationship and bond with the Iraqi students. Students engaged in multiple research techniques and enhanced their training ability so they could return to their units and pass these skills on to their peers.
“The students were motivated and experienced; we learned as much from them as they learned from us during the five weeks of training. It was a great opportunity to work with them in a peer-to-peer learning environment,” said a Canadian Armed Forces Explosive Threat Training Team Leader.
Following Iraq’s liberation from Daesh, ensuring the security of public spaces and buildings is vital to Iraq’s lasting security. Graduates of the course will return to their units to conduct explosive threat searches, an inherently dangerous and difficult task. These Iraqi soldiers will physically put themselves between these threats and the population in order to increase safety and security and limit civilian casualties.
Canada and other NATO allies continue to conduct training activities to strengthen Iraqi security institutions and protect the local population, while helping to train a new class of Iraqi trainers, who will continue the work. “Since the fall of 2017, Canadian Armed Forces combat engineers have been providing instruction on how to deal with various explosive threats at the Iraqi Army Bomb Disposal School. This mission was a real success and is now extended until the fall of 2018. Helping the Iraqis to face these threats is an important contribution to Iraq, to the Coalition and to NATO”, underlined the Brigadier General Andrew Jayne, Commander Joint Task Force Iraq. outside.
In addition to search techniques, Canada also taught students how to neutralize explosive devices, first aid, lanyard drills, and teaching techniques. All training was carried out as part of NATO’s training and capacity building effort, in full coordination with Iraqi security forces and national authorities.