By Tim Nanns
The British Embassy in Cairo announced on Sunday that 31 Egyptian army officers finished their training on protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs) earlier this month with the goal of developing the very same capabilities in the Egyptian army.
The officers from the ‘Egyptian Explosive Ordinance Disposal Brigade’ took part in a two-week course by the UK’s 33 Engineer Regiment, specialised in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).
The British instructors praised the Egyptian officers “for their professionalism, enthusiasm and desire to learn”, as well as for their experience in the field. The course instructor said it was “incredibly rewarding” to watch the application of the UK concepts by Egyptians in situations they had faced in real life.
The course was designed to apply the teachings of the British army’s ‘Advanced Search Courses’ to the situation the Egyptian army is facing in Sinai, aiming “to foster a deep understanding of IEDs in modern day warfare, and how they can be defeated”.
British Ambassador John Casson stated that the Egyptian forces are now facing the same threats that “British soldiers faced for many years in Afghanistan”, and announced that Britain would not “leave Egypt to face this murderous violence alone”.
A spokesperson for the British embassy told Daily News Egypt that, even though there was no formal agreement on military cooperation, the UK is entering into good relations with the Egyptian armed forces and would continue to offer support for the security services.
Concerning a possible repetition of the training course for more officers, he stated it was a “custom-made” course for the participants and was probably not to be repeated, but that the UK was offering other training for Egyptian officers.