News: Marines Assist African Forces in Combating IEDs
Story by Gunnery Sgt. Alexis Mulero
SINGO, Uganda - Two Marine explosive ordnance and disposal (EOD) technicians from Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group (MCSCG) supported Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa in providing subject matter expertise and training to more than 100 soldiers from the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) and the Burundi National Defense Force (BDF) from June 7 – 17.
Gunnery Sgt. Matt Thorp and Staff Sgt. Tim Lynch, who are EOD team leaders and foreign advisors, provided platform and practical application instruction in counter-improvised explosive device operations to these African partner nations, who are preparing for future military operations in Mogadishu, Somalia.
“The training was a positive experience, which laid a foundation that we can build upon in future engagements,” said Lynch, who is a native of Naperville, Ill. “The UPDF EOD technicians have a good grasp on the fundamentals of counter-IED operation, which will set them up for long-term success.”
Some of the training conducted involved patrolling; metal detector operations; sweeping; breaching; and basic, advanced and improvised demolitions.
“This was a unique opportunity to see the way other militaries train and operate throughout the world,” said Lynch. “It is an added bonus that I get to bring back the knowledge and experiences gained and share it with the EOD community and the Marine Corps as a whole.”
“The Marine Corps does not strictly conduct conventional warfare,” Lynch added. “Marines have been engaged in irregular warfare from Tripoli to Vietnam, and it is a privilege to conduct these missions with partner nations. Missions like this continue to set a good precedence on how Marines can be used effectively in the future.”
Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group coordinates, manages, executes, and evaluates United States Marine Corps Security Cooperation programs and activities, to include assessments, planning, military-related education and training, and advisor support to ensure unity of effort in building Partner Nation Security Forces’ (PNSF) capacity and capability in order to facilitate USMC and regional Marine Forces component support to combatant commanders’ security cooperation objectives.