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Friday, August 14, 2009

AFP, JSOTF-P train Jolo police in IED awareness and response

Lieutenant Lara Bollinger
Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines

JOLO CITY, Philippines— Explosive ordnance disposal technicians and medical personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 3rd Marine Brigade and Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines conducted three days of training in Improvised Explosive Device awareness and medical response for 16 Jolo City municipal police officers here August 6-8.

During the training, AFP and JSOTF-P instructors shared information with the police about preventing IED attacks, as well as how to respond in the event of an IED emergency. The classroom portion included 12 hours of EOD and IED response training and 12 hours of medical instruction. “This training is a great opportunity for EOD experts from the AFP and the US to teach the Jolo police these critical skills,” said U.S. Army Capt. Ryan Hartwig, commander of Liaison Coordination Element 1333A.

The instructors from the Philippine Marines and the U.S. Navy covered subjects ranging from IED area cordon and search procedures, physics of explosions, and vehicle searches to medical response, improvised tourniquets and splinting, basic shock management, and treating blast and blunt force trauma injuries. The Jolo Municipal Police chief also taught a class on the laws regarding explosives.

“IED awareness is a critical aspect of police training, said U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician 1st Class Karl Krahn, one of the instructors. The more prepared the Jolo police are for responding to emergencies, the more they will be able to ensure the safety of their community.”

In order to test the students on what they learned, the instructors conducted a final practical exercise consisting of a simulated IED explosion with casualties. Instructors set off colored smoke grenades to simulate smoke from the explosion, and volunteers from the AFP and JSOTF-P posed as injured victims. In addition to providing immediate medical response to the simulated casualties, the police students had to identify a secondary IED that was planted nearby and cordon off the area.

After the simulation, the instructors provided feedback to their students, and then graduated them from the course with certificates of completion.

"The students that we taught here are now the local experts and they will be able to take what we taught them and train the force," Hartwig said.

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