CAGAYAN DE ORO, PHILIPPINES (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Mobile Unit 5, Detachment 7 delivered an SRS-5 light weight explosive protection suit and provided training on combating Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) EOD Dec. 10 at Camp Edilberto Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental Province, Philippines.
The explosive protection suit was presented to the AFP EOD as part of a Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) made Oct. 2, 2007 with the East Mindanao Command in Davao, Philippines.
"We've been here for about three years now and we've noticed that a lot of their personnel protective equipment wasn't sufficient enough for the IEDs here in this area," said Explosives Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Eric Fisher, "By providing an SRS bomb suit will defiantly give them the right tools to complete their mission and also the survivability rate will be a lot higher."
The U.S. Navy EOD team showed the AFP EOD team how to properly wear the bomb suit, how to take care of the bomb suit and actually how to employ the bomb suit using remote techniques. The AFP were given exercise scenarios wearing the bomb suit giving them a chance to use the equipment that they do have with the SRS-5.
"The bomb suit is a great help for us because in our mission here we don't have any equipment for attacking IEDs," said Technical Sergeant Eduardo P. Lao of the 69th EOD Team 6th Explosive Ordnance Detachment EOD Battalion Army Support Command, Philippine Army, "We are so very grateful to the U.S. Navy personnel."
A total of 16 bomb suits, pulled from a stockpile of suits formally used by the U.S. Navy EOD forces, are being delivered by U.S. Navy EOD Mobile Unit 5 to AFP EOD units throughout Mindanao as part of the MLSA.
"The agreement was made between the U.S. Navy EOD and AFP EOD to advise, assist and increase the AFP EOD capability to combat IEDs safely in southern Mindanao," said Lt. Brent C. Wadsworth, Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines EOD commander. "The AFP EOD forces will now be more equipped to render safe explosive devices that present a significant threat to civilians within the various cities in the Mindanao area."
The first SRS-5 was delivered to the AFP 6th EOD Battalion Headquarters located at Pedro Colina Hill in Cotobato City and the last suit is expected to be delivered some time toward the end of January 2008.
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