The evolving threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as a weapon of choice for terrorists saw AMISOM, soon to become ATMIS (AU Transition Mission in Somalia), present four days of training to counter this threat.
The training in Mogadishu was attended by 20 military engineers from AMISOM outposts and staff officers with roles pertaining to countering the IED threat.
“It is only by increasing awareness, participation in and understanding of the IED threat that we will be able to mitigate the enemy’s tactics, techniques and procedures to better protect our soldiers and ultimately defeat the enemy,” AMISOM Chief Force Engineer, Colonel Saheed Sadiq, said.
Sadiq told those attending the evolving nature of enemy tactics called for constant re-evaluation of personnel skills to counter IEDs and update on new trends so they are able to operate efficiently and deliver on the mission mandate.
Organised by the AMISOM Training Cell and the United Kingdom Mission Support Team (UKMST), the training focused on building capacity to identify and dispose of emplaced IEDs and mitigate any threat timeously.
UKMST Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Torcail Stroud-Caules, stressed the importance of understanding the entire IED cycle, as it will enable them to identify ways to counter the threat at any level.
“The tactics, techniques and procedures of the people making IEDs will adapt to the area where they live and work, your job is to counter that. It’s important you understand how IEDs work, how they are built, the sources that constitute the ingredients for an IED and how to deal with that. You also have to understand how to deal with it on the ground. Your task is to make it safe for people on the ground to understand what they are dealing with, how to mitigate threats and ensure that they are not threats,” Stroud-Caules said.
He called on participants to consistently ensure every member of the counter-IED network is aware of their specific role to minimise casualties due to IED attacks while infield.
“We learnt about the tactics terrorists use against our troops. We are going to use this information to protect lives and properties in our areas of operations,” said Lieutenant Arafat Omar Ahmed, a Djiboutian military engineer serving in AMISOM.
“Most of the casualties we suffered are due to the emplacement of IEDs, so training was helpful,” Kenyan infantry officer Captain Patrick Kinyua said.