Testing Times With The Bomb Disposal Operators

Members of 33 Engineer Regiment Explosive Ordnance Disposal need to ensure they still have the skills...

The dangers posed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) keep evolving so the teams at 33 Engineer Regiment Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) go through days of training and testing every few months to ensure they still have the skills to be deployed overseas 

Robots have been replacing the work of human search teams in some situations. The Dragon Runner Remote Controlled Vehicle (RCV) was develop to use a commercial strength leaf blower to uncover a pressure plate which would otherwise have been cleared by hand.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Matt Henton, a Senior Ammunition Technician with 33 Engineer Regiment EOD says the operators need to be able to recognise and deal with a vast range of Improvised Explosive Devices.   

"We're looking at the full spectrum of threats out there. All the training devices that are used are based upon real world threats"

The UK experience of conflicts in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan has provided bomb disposal teams with a vast amount of knowledge. The regiment have hosted a visit from the Indian Army and are exchanging officers with the New Zealand Defence Force.

Lieutenant Bryce Scholtens of 2 Engineer Regiment, Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers found many of the British procedures familiar.

"I could almost slip into one of the roles of a Search Adviser here quite comfortably and crack on with the task in hand"

33 Engineer Regiment EOD support high readiness brigades so its soldiers are on 5 days notice to travel with Royal Marines or Parachute Regiment troops anywhere in the world.