05 February 2010


RAF counter-IED team prepare for first Helmand deployment

A Training and Adventure news article

3 Feb 10

Members of the RAF's 5131 (Bomb Disposal) Squadron have been preparing for their deployment to Helmand province in March, where, as part of the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Task Force, they will be taking part in the fight against these devices and reducing their threat to UK and Afghan forces. Report by Tristan Kelly.

Senior Aircraftman James Potter

Senior Aircraftman James Potter marks the location of a suspected improvised explosive device during a training exercise at RAF Wittering
[Picture: Andy Cargill ABIPP, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

In 2009, 75 per cent of UK casualties in Afghanistan were a result of improvised explosive devices. Reducing this sad tally has now become the main effort for Defence as Colonel Robert Herring, Assistant Head of Joint EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and Search, explained:

"IEDs kill and injure a large number of both Afghan civilians and UK forces.

"To that end the MOD has been putting a significant amount of investment in resources to do something about it and it has been made Defence's highest priority.

"There is no single solution, there is no panacea. There is no equipment solution, no technological solution or particular way of operating that will solve the problem. It is a multi-faceted approach to solving the problem."

As part of that multi-faceted approach, the team from 5131 (Bomb Disposal) Squadron will, on the front line in Helmand, be responding to notifications from units on the ground of possible IED finds....

More on these brave teams here.

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