|Garuda Shield 12||HOMEPAGE|
U.S. Army CIED trainers prepare TNI Soldiers for Lebanon deployment|
By Sgt. Andrew A. Reagan, 304th Public Affairs Detachment
A major component of Garuda Shield, a combined exercise between the TNI-AD and U.S. Army that improves peacekeeping, stability operations and increases the disaster relief capabilities of both armies, is counter IED training. The TNI-AD will deploy to Lebanon in November to support U.N peacekeeping operations.
"We're giving them a basic understanding of an IED threat: how to avoid it, how to counter it, how to go around it and how to understand it," said Master Sgt. Francisco Alcan tar with the 15th Explosive Hazard Team from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. "I think they understand how real it is, that in training you can make mistakes but in the real world you don't get a second chance. I think it's getting through their heads that this is important because a lot of the IEDs that we see come from that area [Lebanon]."
The counter IED training for TNI-AD Soldiers began a week prior, as they gathered intelligence on the situation in Lebanon, said Sgt. 1st Class Kindu E. Delaleu, noncommissioned officer in charge of trainers from the Asia Pacific Counter IED Fusion Center based at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
Delaleu said the trainers spent four days conducting classes with the TNI-AD on the basic components of an IED and techniques for detecting them. These newly acquired skills were put to the test during five days of intense field training.
"We always start with the basics. We give them something called IED awareness that shows them the components of an IED and then how to recognize indicators," said Delaleu. "We then go into how to search an area, a building, vehicles, and personnel searches. Then we teach dismounted and mounted patrols where they learn different formations."
"Now we're actually getting the personnel on the ground. It was death by PowerPoint for the first three and a half days, now it's baptize by fire for the next four," said Delaleu.
The U.S. trainers stressed that the aim is to enhance the techniques the TNI-AD already uses and adapt them for the peacekeeping environment in Lebanon.
"The thing we work on is we don't try to teach them our tactics, we try to expand on theirs," said Spc. Josh Judson, of the 130th Engineer Brigade stationed at Schofield Barracks. "What we do is the first couple days of (preparation) when we're sitting down with these guys; we ask them, what do you do in this type of situation?' It's a lot of learning on our part and then we take what they know and build on it."
Judson said he and his team were impressed with how competent and professional the TNI-AD Soldiers are and how quickly they grasped the CIED techniques.
"The [learning pace] of the TNI, compared to the other armies we have trained, is completely accelerated. They're a lot sharper, they catch on a lot faster," said Judson. "We're using the interpreters but honestly we could probably do a lot of this (by just showing them) because they're that quick."
In addition to absorbing the CIED material very quickly, the TNI-AD Soldiers are cognizant of the real-world importance of the training.
"This will help us a lot in Lebanon," said Sgt. Maj. Didik Utomo, a TNI-AD platoon commander. "I love the practical exercises and the freedom [our trainers] give us to make the techniques our own. I am ready and willing to train other soldiers."