Multinational Explosive Ordinance Disposal Training at Tradewinds 23

Students and instructors from several countries participated in bomb disposal training at Camp Stephenson, Guyana, as part of TRADEWINDS23.

Students included soldiers from the host nation, Guyana, as well as Mexico, Bermuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, and the Bahamas. Instructors were from Martinique, Mexico, the United States, Bermuda, and Guyana.

Training included sessions on searching for and safely removing or deactivating explosives from buildings and vehicles.

Sergeant Major Samuel Gasche, of the French Forces in Martinique, said materials for the exercises included bomb suits, metal detectors and x-ray devices.

“We’re trying to make them think before doing any action – to try to identify the problem and how to diffuse the device,” he added.

“They need to do a proper recce, and then they have to go in turns, try to understand everything and have a global picture to diffuse the device properly, safely.”

Sgt Maj Gasche was impressed with how the students were very interested and enthusiastic throughout the training. 

The Royal Bermuda Regiment’s Sergeant Major Runekco Edwards oversaw training on July 24 when groups from the Guyana Defence Force and the Mexican Navy set and detected booby traps in buildings. 

It was the first time he was part of the TRADEWINDS explosive ordnance disposal team as an instructor.

Sgt Maj Edwards said: “In this type of work, things are always evolving, so I’m still learning.”

Lance Corporal Kirk Wilks, 24, an RBR soldier and catering supervisor from Devonshire, said: “This is my first time doing EOD stuff. It has been pretty good so far. 

“It’s a lot of information to take in, learning many different things. It’s been nice working with some of the other countries, exchanging knowledge, seeing how they do things differently, the different kits and equipment they have.”

Sergeant Murricko Iris from the RBR, a public service labourer in his civilian life, added: “It’s amazing working with other countries. Their knowledge is vital for us because we don’t do this normally, so anything they say is interesting; we can take it on board, use it, and set our own standard operating procedures.

The 32-year-old of Devonshire added, “Even though we may not always speak the same language, it’s easy to communicate once you have the same thought process.”

Corporal Ryan Hayling, a 34-year-old landscaper and RBR soldier, of Hamilton Parish, said the course was very informational. “Although we don’t necessarily deal with IEDs [improvised explosive devices], we deal with different ordnances. There are still rules we can apply to that; there are universal procedures we can apply to any explosive.”

Tradewinds is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise designed to strengthen partnerships and interoperability, promote human rights, and increase all participants' training capacity and capability to mitigate, plan for and respond to crises and security threats.

  • For more information or to join the Royal Bermuda Regiment, visitbermudaregiment.bmor call 238-1045.