U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal soldiers from the 192nd EOD Battalion are headed to Canada to participate in Exercise Ardent Defender. The exercise, which runs for five weeks, begins Sept 18 and provides the opportunity for the soldiers to train with military and law enforcement personnel from 11 partner nations.

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

The 192nd EOD Battalion is sending soldiers from companies in three different geographical regions. Soldiers from the Fort Drum, New York-based 754th and 760th EOD Companies, and the Fort Belvoir, Virginia-based 55th EOD Company are heading to Canadian Forces Base Borden in Ontario, Canada. These soldiers will work with military and civilian counterparts from Canada, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, South Korea, Australia, Colombia, Mexico, and Ecuador.

According to Maj. Atif Rizvi, the lead Canadian Armed Forces planner for Exercise Ardent Defender, the exercise provides a venue for the partner nations to share best practices and techniques as it pertains to “current and emerging threats.”

Additionally, the exercise provides an opportunity for Army EOD teams to work with a wide range of EOD professionals. Including local law enforcement, government agencies, and other militaries to simulate complex, “real world” environments.

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

Ardent Defender is an annual exercise that has been held 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 Pacific Base in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

James R. Webb is a rapid response reporter for Military Times. He served as a US Marine infantryman in Iraq. Additionally, he has worked as a Legislative Assistant in the US Senate and as an embedded photographer in Afghanistan.

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