Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians assigned to U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) Diver and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Center conducted a knowledge exchange classroom seminar as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Thailand 2019 on May 31.
U.S. Navy and RTN EOD technicians discussed waterborne improvised explosive devices, improvised demolition charges, and the tactics, techniques and procedures for handling different types of explosives and devices used by various extremist organizations.
“Our mission as the explosive ordnance disposal component of CARAT Thailand 2019 is to improve our ability to interoperate with our Thai counterparts and provide them with information and techniques that will ultimately help them accomplish their mission of keeping the Thai people safe,” said Lt. Andrew Kuo, a platoon commander assigned to EODMU 5. “Part of the purpose of this exercise is to exchange information and foster a cooperative environment so that both teams walk away having obtained valuable experience and knowledge that will help in future mission success.”
At the conclusion of the classroom portion of the knowledge exchange, both the U.S. Navy and RTN EOD technicians took turns conducting an equipment demonstration to learn about the similarities and differences between their respective equipment.
According to RTN Lt. Prawit Kongnak, the class leader of the RTN Diver and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Center during CARAT Thailand 2019, this portion of the knowledge exchange was invaluable because knowing how each other’s equipment functions and how each team can contribute to a situation is vital in the event they need to respond to a real-life scenario together.
“This type of training is very beneficial for both the Royal Thai Navy and the U.S. Navy because the more you know, the more you can keep yourself and everyone else safe,” said Kongnak. “It is especially beneficial for the EOD community because the only way to keep the community and our teams safe is to study each other’s techniques and procedures in a joint environment to ensure we fully understand how one another thinks and operates.”
CARAT Thailand 2019 is the seventh CARAT Kongnak has participated in and he believes that while learning techniques and procedures is vital, it is not the only thing to be gained from working alongside the U.S. Navy in a combined environment.