Army EOD troops travel to Canada for Exercise Ardent Defender

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U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Soldiers from the 192nd EOD Battalion travel to Canada to participate in Exercise Ardent Defender. The five-week exercise begins Sept. 18 and provides an opportunity for soldiers to train with military and law enforcement personnel from 11 partner countries.

“Ardent Defender gives our EOD soldiers the opportunity to hone their skills and leverage the expertise of our joint, allied and interagency partners,” said Major Thomas N. Shanahan, operations officer of the 192nd EOD Battalion, in a press release.

The 192nd EOD Battalion sends soldiers from companies located in three different geographic regions. Soldiers from the 754th and 760th EOD Companies from Fort Drum, New York, and the 55th EOD Company from Fort Belvoir, Va., March towards Canadian Forces Base Borden in Ontario, Canada. These soldiers will work with their military and civilian counterparts from Canada, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, South Korea, Australia, Colombia, Mexico and Ecuador. .

According to Major Atif Rizvi, the Canadian Armed Forces’ senior planner for Exercise Ardent Defender, the exercise allows partner nations to share best practices and techniques with respect to “current and emerging threats.”

Additionally, the exercise provides Army EOD teams the opportunity to work with a wide range of EOD professionals. Including local law enforcement, government agencies and other armed forces to simulate complex ‘real world’ environments.

“The objective of the exercise is to use a bottom-up approach to ensure that EOD and improvised explosive device training activities continue as emerging threats to counter IED are observed around the world,” said said Rizvi.

Ardent Defender is an annual exercise that has taken place at various bases across Canada since its inception in 2012. Previous locations have included the Royal Canadian Air Force Base in Trenton, Ontario, and the Fleet Diving Unit base. Pacific in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

James R. Webb is a rapid response reporter for Military Times. He served as an infantryman in the US Navy in Iraq. In addition, he worked as a legislative assistant in the US Senate and as an integrated photographer in Afghanistan.

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