British forces, National Guard in joint bomb training

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British Forces Cyprus officials look forward to more opportunities to train alongside the National Guard (NG) after a successful joint exercise outside of Nicosia.

Explosive Ordinance Device (EOD) experts from British Bases and the National Guard were involved.

According to Warrant Officer 1, Stu Dickson from RAF Akrotiri’s Ammunition Troop, the opportunity to share expertise with their Cypriot counterparts was invaluable.

“It was a fantastic opportunity that we were very much looking forward to, with a chance to exchange ideas and EOD techniques with National Guard experts.

“The make-up of the National Guard teams very much matches our own Contingency EOD Operations structure.

“With different equipment and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), it’s fascinating and beneficial for both parties to observe each other tackling the same devices and tasks.”

And with more joint training opportunities on the horizon, WO1 Dickson was quick to say there is still a great deal to be achieved for both parties.

“We’ve learnt a lot from each other during the two iterations of Exercise Hades Bident (annual EOD exercise), and we’ve no doubt this latest exercise was a beneficial learning experience for our troops.

“This is the first time we have been invited to the National Guard’s training area, where they hosted and ran the training for ourselves.

“I think all parties have very much enjoyed the exchange of ideas and the difference between the EOD capabilities, so long may it continue to develop and grow.”

Lieutenant Nikolas Loizides, EOD Centre of Command Engineer for the NG, was equally enthusiastic about the success of the training.

“For the National Guard, this was a fruitful and productive day exchanging expertise on demining and disposal procedures, with the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, according to our Bilateral Defence Cooperation Program of 2023.”