8th TSC major completes Bomb Disposal Course in India

| May 11, 2017 | 0 Comments
Maj. Nick Drury (center), deputy chief of Operations, 8th TSC, and Indian Army instructors at Civil Defense Officers Bomb Disposal Course, Indian Army College of Military Engineering in Pune, India, pose for a remembrance photo. (Courtesy photo)

Maj. Nick Drury (center), deputy chief of Operations, 8th TSC, and Indian Army instructors at Civil Defense Officers Bomb Disposal Course, Indian Army College of Military Engineering in Pune, India, pose for a remembrance photo. (Courtesy photo)

Maj. Lindsey Elder
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER — Education is among the top priorities for leaders in the U.S Army. This includes academia and professional military education in their career fields.

Drury broadened his military education in one of the Army’s most dangerous career fields, EOD, by training with a partner nation: India. (Courtesy photo)

Drury broadened his military education in one of the Army’s most dangerous career fields, EOD, by training
with a partner nation: India. (Courtesy photo)

Maj. Nick Drury, deputy chief of operations for the 8th Theater Sustainment Command, recently broadened his military education in one of the Army’s most dangerous career fields – Explosive Ordnance Disposal – by training with a partner nation that places equal value on such self-improvement: the Indian Army.

The Philip, South Dakota native completed the Civil Defense Officers Bomb Disposal Course at the Indian Army College of Military Engineering in Pune, India, in February. While it’s a unique experience for American Soldiers to find themselves as the “foreign” student in a class, in this case, Drury was not alone. He was joined by 11 other officers from countries such Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon and Myanmar.

“It was really great to interact with people from so many other countries,” Drury said. “It broadened my understanding of their cultures as well as the specific threats within each country, what they’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis in terms of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or unexploded ordnance (UXOs) and how it directly impacts them.”

Coming from a common understanding of the best practices to eliminate explosive and ordnance threats, there were enough things in common to make shared learning easy during the course.

“In the technical aspect of our armies’ counter-IED models, India and the U.S. have some similarities. The equipment we use is similar. India also uses robots, remote firing devices and explosive detectors, but, of course, the model and the functionality of the equipment is different,” he explained.

When asked what impressed him the most, he stated two things: the highly effective way they keep their regional commands informed of potential threats and how welcoming everyone was throughout his stay.

“They have a country wide counter-IED report that’s compiled by the schoolhouse, and it gives a shared sense of what types of IEDs are being found. Sharing of the types and locations creates a greater understanding of the threats nationwide,” Drury said.

“The Indian Army and citizens I interacted with were so hospitable,” he continued. “They constantly went out of their way, wanting to know how I was enjoying my time in India and what I was getting out of the course.

“In all honesty, I think the reason a lot of people came up to talk was because I have the American flag on my right shoulder. It gave me a lot of pride to know that I was there representing the United States and the U.S. Army,” he said.

The U.S. Army-Pacific and Indian Army relationship is an important one to regional and global security. India is a major defense partner, and Drury is one of only 10 officers from across the entire U.S. Army selected to attend professional military education at the invitation of the Indian Army during 2017.

Drury’s training in India may be over, but his time representing excellence in the U.S. Army abroad is far from complete. The father of three will be packing up in the coming months for his next challenge: working at the NATO Counter-IED Center of Excellence in Madrid.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to work alongside our NATO partners,” he said. “IEDs are a significant challenge across the globe and will be a permanent threat to peace and stability for years to come. Having a role in mitigating IEDs and explosive hazards is very important to me.”

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