An Cosantóir

April 2013

An Cosantóir the official magazine of the Irish Defence Forces and Reserve Defence Forces.

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Page 22 of 39

| 23 To exercise such a varied skill set the Corps has adopted a model whereby units annually conduct two ESSC exercises (spring & autumn), a PDF Corps Concentration and an RDF Corps Concentration. Each iteration has varied in its focus and has resulted in very tangible improvements in the Corps deployability and effectiveness. These exercises also serve to benchmark current capabilities, training and equipment and this in turn drives future activities and equipment procurement. One such ESSC exercise took place in Dundalk this May. Overseas our personnel face all sorts of unseen threats from mines, UXO���s (Unexploded Ordnance), and IED���s (Improvised Explosive Device). At home IED���s are still a considerable threat from dissident movements. To find and isolate such devices the Defence Forces employ ESSC teams. At home the Corps of Engineers have seven ESSC teams; all of which are ready to be deployed at short notice. There is also an ESSC team deployed with 107 Inf Bn in Lebanon. ESSC teams are primarily made up of technicians; such as carpenters, electricians and plumbers. Their skills are invaluable to the team���s success. Continuous training is vital for these teams. They are exercised and certified at least twice a year. At a recent exercise in Dundalk the ESSC teams were presented with a real life scenario. A Northern Irish Peace Process meeting is due to be held in Dundalk. An Garda S��och��na has requested the Defence Forces to carry out searches of the surrounding area. In response the Corps of Engineers have deployed an ESSC Group which consists of three teams. Working with the Group is an Ordnance IED Disposal (IEDD) team. The scenarios presented to the teams tested them in three main areas. Offensive Searches: this is where the teams go out taking the initiative and search an area. This could be for weapons, money, or IED���s. Defensive Search: this is where there is a VIP visit planned for example. Searches are carried out in advance of that visit searching in case something has been planted in advance of the visit. High Risk Incident Searches: a live device or suspected device has been found and actions have to be taken. There is a high threat to the personnel involved. Typically this would involve a live IED or mine for example. The ESSC teams must clear a safe route in order for the IEDD team to deal with the device. In 2012 the ESSC teams where equipped with new Scania P 280 trucks. This is a 4x2 9-litre turbo-charge diesel engine. The truck is designed and fitted out to carry a wide variety of specialist search equipment required to enable the Teams to conduct ESSC operations. the defence forces magazine

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