Explosive threat reduction training for Somali forces


Global electronic countermeasures specialist Allen-Vanguard has delivered Explosive Threat Reduction Team (ETRT) training courses to Somalia security forces personnel to help them defeat radio frequency-based terrorist and extremist threats.

The company said the courses are designed to enhance Somalia’s indigenous capability to detect and destroy Explosive Ordnance (EO) and conduct Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD).

The consortium consisting of Allen-Vanguard (prime contractor), SKA International (logistics) and Artios Global Ltd (training) delivered two ETRT courses to the Somali National Army and Somali Police Force to create the capacity for them to detect and destroy items of EO and safely mitigate the IEDD threat.

The course design followed international best practice for training and learning, employed a detailed training management plan and met the necessary high-level training objectives to ensure full compliance with United Nations Mine Action Services (UNMAS) IEDD standards; they also aligned with potential future UNMAS IEDD training requirements, Allen-Vanguard said.

“The comprehensive training package included detailed theory, individual foundation skills, integrated team training, scenario-based exercises and summative assessments.  So far, numerous Somali security force personnel have successfully passed the training, creating sufficient capability to generate multiple ETRTs; each with specialists trained in specific roles for search (detect) and explosive ordnance disposal (destroy) culminating in an operational capability that will be put to great use,” the company added.

Bobby Strawbridge, Director Business Development said “our consortia are delighted with the outcome of this ground-breaking capability development within the Somali Security Forces.  Through a number of channels, we have been working closely with Somalia Security Forces for some time to help detect, protect and defeat the considerable explosive threats they face. We are traditionally known for our world class ECM hardware and software solutions. However, this venture demonstrates Allen-Vanguard’s agility, experience and expertise to create innovative solutions to defeat a wider range of explosive threats, and our ability to successfully partner with other high-quality organisations to meet our customers’ needs.”

Cam Baldry, the Artios PM leading the delivery summarized the training by saying, “the Somali security forces are fully aware of the security environment they face and were eager to learn and adopt this new capability.  They were extremely well motivated and keen to learn.  We were impressed at their professionalism and diligence and are confident that they’ll implement these new skills and techniques to great operational effect”.