Service members of the US Military partnered with their Bangladeshi counterparts to participate in the Tiger Lightning 2022 (TL22) training exercise from 19-31 March 2022 at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations Training (BIPSOT).
Members of the 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade (5th SFAB) out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, the Oregon Army National Guard along with two members from the 303rd Ordnance Battalion (EOD), based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, took part in the two-week exercise, reads a US embassy press release.
TL22 is a bilateral exercise sponsored by US Indo-Pacific Command and hosted by the Bangladesh Armed Forces, designed to strengthen Bangladesh defense readiness, building operational interoperability, and reinforcing partnership between the Bangladesh Armed Forces and Oregon State National Guard.
Approximately 36 US personnel participated in this field training exercise (FTX) focusing on combined operations training and regional crisis response capabilities. The Oregon National Guard assisted with key subject matter experts, focusing on the "E," in the area of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) & counter improvised explosive device (C-IED) training.
"The people know their equipment, they know the capabilities, but they're sharing their experiences from Mali, Iraq, and Afghanistan, on how the equipment worked and didn't work, as well as how you can use the equipment together", said Oregon Army National Guard Lt Col Demain San Miguel, lead planner for the exercise.
One such piece of equipment that the Bangladeshis use, which the US military doesn't utilize are small remote-controlled drones in the traditional forces. This piece of commercially produced equipment can give the user all the data they could need in a situation while mitigating huge risks of an individual.
"I have been impressed by the proficiency of the Bangladesh armed forces in the C-IED field," said US Army Sgt 1st Class Patrick Dean, a C-IED subject matter expert, assigned to the Oregon National Guard.
One of the key aspects that has been repeated during this exercise from the Oregon delegates is how the Bangladesh military has real-world United Nations Peacekeeping Operation experiences, and that the US military members have been greatly appreciative of getting their perspectives on.
"They are much further along in their EOD program than one would think," said US Army Staff Sgt Grant Holman, a bomb technician assigned to the 303rd Ordinance Battalion.
Echoing back to the design of the exercise; subject matter expert exchange, the knowledge and real world experiences that these two nations have been sharing with each other has been invaluable to all involved. From the hands-on demonstrations, questions and answers, to the classroom scenario case studies; Exercise Tiger Lighting 2022 has been a complete success, reads the statement.
"Absolutely, 100%. It's very clear that these officers who have deployed to Mali and the Congo, know their C-IED procedures. They have different equipment than what we normally use, but they have good procedures built-in that help them unitise all the equipment that they do have very effectively." said Lt Col San Miguel.
San Miguel hopes to have the Bangladeshi C-IED crew visit Oregon in the near future so that they can continue their training on what has been a successful State Partnership Program exercise in the realm of C-IED and EOD training.