Photo Information

While teaching a counter-IED class, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician points out a simulated IED hidden in a tree to soldiers with the Uganda People’s Defense Force in Camp Singo, Uganda, Nov. 4, 2014. EOD Technicians with SPMAGTF-Crisis Response-Africa are working alongside the UPDF, helping hone their skills in countering-improvised explosive devices during a logistics and engineering training engagement.

Photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin

U.S. Marines aid Uganda against IED threat

26 Nov 2014 | 1st Lt. Maida Kalic and Cpl. Shawn Valosin The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

U.S. Marines with SPMAGTF-Crisis Response-Africa completed a training engagement focused solely on detection techniques and safety precautions for improvised explosive devices with service members of the Ugandan People’s Defense Force in Camp Singo, Uganda.

“I loved the training right away,” said a soldier with the Ugandan People’s Defense Force who excelled during the first iteration of training and has since been brought back for multiple iterations to assist Marines and Sailors with SPMAGTF-CR-AF in teaching the UPDF.

“There is a lot of information given to us in a short amount of time, but PowerPoint presentations help and I really like the practical application portions after the classroom instruction,” said the soldier. “I also love that everything we’re taught, we have to work as a team to accomplish.”

Explosive ordnance disposal technicians walked the UPDF soldiers through a training area specifically designed to aid in the instruction, known as a ‘Military Operations in Urban Terrain’ (MOUT) town, and asked the UPDF to point out potential danger areas for IED placement. Once they completed the walk through, the Marines pointed out where they hid simulated IEDs. 

The technicians covered the basics for what steps each UPDF soldier can take to keep themselves and their fellow soldiers safe if they encounter an IED. In another portion of the training, the EOD Marines detonated various explosives [in a designated area] to demonstrate what dangers present when IEDs of different sizes detonate. The UPDF then walked the range so they could see how much destruction an IED can cause. 

This training engagement started in late October and will end during the month of December. Similar to the work Marines are currently doing in Burundi with the Burundi National Defense Force, these service members are helping the UPDF hone their skills in basic infantry tactics, engineering, logistical support, countering-improvised explosive devices, lifesaving techniques, and convoy operations, which the UPDF will use for upcoming deployments. 

By conducting partner military training, the Marines and Sailors of SPMAGTF-CR-AF will gain and share valuable teaching, training and small unit experiences while working with the UPDF.

The theater security cooperation engagements SPMAGTF-CR-AF conducts strengthen U.S. Africa Command’s ability to help African states address their regional security challenges.