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American Forces Press Service

Task Force Conducts Bomb Training With Philippine Police

By Navy Lt.j.g. Theresa Donnelly
Special to American Forces Press Service

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines, Dec. 29, 2009 – Members of Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines taught more than 40 Philippine National Police officers how to identify homemade bombs during training conducted in Zamboanga del Norte province Dec. 22 and 23.

Philippine police spent the first day in the classroom learning about the materials used to make crude improvised explosive devices. On the second day, the bomb squad detonated the explosives during a live-fire exercise at police headquarters.

“The purpose of the class was to teach the bomb squads what to look for when searching a property of someone who is suspected of making explosives,” Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dave Friedman, an explosive ordnance disposal technician, said. “Even typical household products can be used for making IEDs.”

For the past six months task force members have been helping Philippine police improve their ability to better recognize, respond to and counter homemade bombs.

“In our job, we must understand the [chemical] mixtures that can make up these IEDs, so we can counter them,” said Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Kenneby Damsid, a bomb technician.

The joint task force ordnance disposal teams are situated at various locations throughout the southern Philippines, assisting the country’s armed forces, the national police and local government units.

The U.S. teams draw upon experience working in the Philippines, and the knowledge gained through multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I am glad we can share our best practices” with the Philippine military and law enforcement officials, said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Smith, an explosive ordnance disposal technician.

(Navy Lt. j.g. Theresa Donnelly serves with Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines public affairs.)

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