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At Camp Humphreys, South Korea, on Jan. 18, members of the 557th Military Police Company stage for an Army photographer a partial reenactment of training they underwent earlier on how to react to roadside bombs. Cylinder in foreground is an improvised explosive device simulator, which the unit plans to make frequent use of in future IED training. The soldiers are Pfc. Kang Seok-jin, right, and Pfc. Carlos Whitehead.
At Camp Humphreys, South Korea, on Jan. 18, members of the 557th Military Police Company stage for an Army photographer a partial reenactment of training they underwent earlier on how to react to roadside bombs. Cylinder in foreground is an improvised explosive device simulator, which the unit plans to make frequent use of in future IED training. The soldiers are Pfc. Kang Seok-jin, right, and Pfc. Carlos Whitehead. (Courtesy of U.S. Army)
At Camp Humphreys, South Korea, on Jan. 18, members of the 557th Military Police Company stage for an Army photographer a partial reenactment of training they underwent earlier on how to react to roadside bombs. Cylinder in foreground is an improvised explosive device simulator, which the unit plans to make frequent use of in future IED training. The soldiers are Pfc. Kang Seok-jin, right, and Pfc. Carlos Whitehead.
At Camp Humphreys, South Korea, on Jan. 18, members of the 557th Military Police Company stage for an Army photographer a partial reenactment of training they underwent earlier on how to react to roadside bombs. Cylinder in foreground is an improvised explosive device simulator, which the unit plans to make frequent use of in future IED training. The soldiers are Pfc. Kang Seok-jin, right, and Pfc. Carlos Whitehead. (Courtesy of U.S. Army)
At Camp Humphreys, South Korea, on Jan. 18, members of the 557th Military Police Company stage for an Army photographer a partial reenactment of training they underwent earlier on how to react to roadside bombs. Unit leaders say the training will help soldiers who might eventually deploy to Iraq.
At Camp Humphreys, South Korea, on Jan. 18, members of the 557th Military Police Company stage for an Army photographer a partial reenactment of training they underwent earlier on how to react to roadside bombs. Unit leaders say the training will help soldiers who might eventually deploy to Iraq. ()

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — Iraq war veterans and others in an Army unit at Camp Humphreys will train their fellow-soldiers how to cope with roadside bombs should they deploy to Iraq.

This summer, leaders in the 557th Military Police Company began giving troops at least some instruction in what the military calls IEDs, for improvised explosive devices.

More recently they’ve decided to give troops a fuller block of training on the subject, including convoy escort practice in which soldiers will have to react to a mock IED that was set off, said 2nd Lt. Chad Ashe, the company’s executive officer.

“When they finally do deploy –— and MPs are deploying at a very rapid pace — the more training they get here before going over there, the better … to at least be prepared to react in this situation,” Ashe said.

Each of the company’s three MP platoons and its headquarters platoon have been told to begin working IED instruction into their regular training programs, Ashe said.

Future training likely will use more “hands-on” drills, he said. That might mean having soldiers in a convoy of moving vehicles react to a mock IED blast.

One of the ways they’ll add realism to the training is by using a device called an IED simulator, which they can sign out from the Training Support Activity Korea office at Camp Humphreys.

It’s a cylinder that stands about 2-2.5 feet high and is eight or nine inches in circumference, said Ashe.

Activating a triggering device forces a load of baby powder through one end of the cylinder as a jet of carbon dioxide is released with a sharp hiss.

“It’s not a noise as much as it is a hissing,” Ashe said. “You’ll see the explosion effect because the baby powder is simulating smoke. But if you have it close enough to your vehicle you actually see the effects of the baby powder on your vehicle” in a way meant to simulate the impact of shrapnel.

The company gave it a try about two weeks ago. But first came a lecture portion that gave troops the word on the varieties of IEDs they might encounter in Iraq, and on procedures to take if one detonates.

“It’s real world,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Turnbull, the company’s operations sergeant. He underwent three IED attacks in Iraq “so I got a little bit of experience,” he said.

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