News: Philippine, US gain advantage from combined IED training
Story by Pfc. Codey Underwood
CLARK AIR BASE, Philippines — Philippine and U.S. forces gained knowledge and honed their skills in combined improvised explosive device training here, April 21, during Exercise Balikatan 2012.
Philippine Army and Air Force service members from the 194th Military Police Battalion and 6011th Security Forces Squadron, along with service members from the U.S. Army’s 472nd Military Police Company, discussed ways to preserve lives and protect themselves against IED attacks.
They practiced mounted patrols and what to do in the event of an IED attack. Working together strengthened their relationship and allowed both nations to share different experiences and tactics to ultimately become more proficient in future exercises and operations.
U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Jeff S. Ayres stated the Philippine Army constantly trains and is familiar with the jungle, while our most recent contingencies have been in the desert.
“The soldiers that we are working with are willing to share the tactics they have developed in the jungle to protect themselves against IEDs,” said Ayres, a platoon leader with 472nd Military Police Battalion.
“We have a lot of experience working in the jungle, so we have been showing the U.S. soldiers how we patrol, identify traps and spot snakes in that environment,” explained Philippine Army Sgt. Raymundo D. Rivera, a sentinel with the 194th MP Bn.
Philippine and U.S. instructors alternated conducting classes on how to identify an IED, the different types, how to cordon off a potential threat area, and response procedures in the event of an attack.
“My men have benefited a lot from being around (the Philippine Army and Air Force),” said Ayres. “Some of the tactics they use on a regular basis are a lot different than our own.”
“We have helped each other understand the terrain that we are trained in,” said U.S. Army Pfc. Cassandra M. Townsend, a driver with the 472nd MP Company. “Seeing an IED in the dessert is much different than trying to see one in the jungle.”
Understanding the problems and complications an IED brings to the battlefield, is something our two nations are working toward, explained Rivera. Although the Philippine soldiers usually patrol on foot, the mounted training could benefit them in the future.
After the exercise concludes, the three units will return to their daily routine, but the knowledge learned in the combined IED training is expected to be re-taught to the rest of the personnel at Clark.
“I am very proud to work alongside of, not only, the Philippine Army, but their Air Force as well,” said Ayres. “This is a great opportunity for both sides to learn from each other.”