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Explosive Detecting Dog Team (EDDT) training

By Maj. Ladislav Ruzicka
First published in
SFOR Informer #91, July 5, 2000

The Entities Armed Forces (EAF) under instructions to the Parties 8 have been conducting humanitarian demining since the summer of 1998. The EAF provides the largest demining effort in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and their productivity and capability are ever increasing.

According Maj. Giles McCallum, British Chief of Mines Intelligence from the HQ SFOR Engineer Branch, part of the capability enhancement is the use of Explosive Detecting Dog Teams (EDDTs). Through donor funding from Norway six EAF personnel, two from each entity, are currently being trained as dog handlers.

"One part of the Canadian International Demining Centre is the dog training branch called Canine Countermine. Canine Countermine has both international and local instructors who have experience with Army and police dogs," explained McCallum. "And this branch has procured six dogs from Europe with the Norwegian funds and is now conducting the training of both the dogs and EAF personnel. The training, based in Bihac, is scheduled to take six months. After this time, the EAF EDDTs will have received accreditation from the Bosnia-Herzegovina Mine Action Centre and will be ready to start clearing minefields."

With the inclusion of EDDTs, the EAF demining effort will have the full range of clearance techniques.

"EAF are currently qualified to carry out manual demining, mechanical mining using the Bozena mini-flail, house clearance and UXO clearance. After this course, the use of EDDTs will greatly increase the productivity and safety of EAF demining," clarified McCallum as a good reason for this very useful but also expensive training.