An overview of the Advanced Explosives and Ordnance Training Seminar held in Cambodia, 2018.
Author: Tom Gersbeck, MFS and GySgt. Jorge Rivero, USMC
Oklahoma State University (OSU), Arson-Explosives, Firearms & Toolmarks Investigation Graduate Program
The Oklahoma State University (OSU), School of Forensic Sciences, CENFEX Program teamed with Golden West Humanitarian Foundation to provide another one-of-a-kind training opportunity in Cambodia, January 15 through 19, 2018. Those in attendance included people from corporate security, 3rd Marine Division, military EOD technicians, Public Safety Bomb technicians, the legal profession, as well as the OSU School of Forensic Sciences and School of Medicine. The details of the five training seminar are outlined below.
The Seminar: Day 1, Monday, January 15, 2018:
The first day provided an overview of the issues to be addressed throughout the week, including advanced technical concepts covered in a crawl, walk, run perspective. In the morning, everyone met in the hotel lobby, boarded the bus and traveled to the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), Ordnance and Weapons Museum. Upon arrival, we were met by Len Austin from Golden West HF. Len provided a brief on the history of warfare within Cambodia over the last 90 years, which resulted in unimaginable amounts of landmines, UXO and ERW still contaminating large portions of the country. With the depth and scope of the problem laid out, the guided tour of the museum began.
The majority of the ordnance displayed in the museum was inerted by Golden West personnel working under Len's supervision. As such, the details provided by Len throughout the tour offered tremendous technical and tactical insight. The group then traveled to Golden West's headquarters in Phnom Penh to tour the Advanced Ordnance Training Materials (AOTM) shop. Guided by Golden West's chief design engineer, John Wright, attendees were treated to hands-on demonstrations of the 3D printed,100%, 200%, and 400% sized fuzes, landmines, submunitions and other ordnance items. The group then moved to the Virtual Reality (VR) room and afforded an opportunity to experiment with ordnance-based VR training equipment. The images shows Len working with an attendee wearing a VR headset.
After watching the VR presentation of a munition, Len then handed a cutaway version of the same munition to the attendee and explained how the item functions. The level of understanding achieved though this multifaceted approach to training cannot be replicated through other conventional methods. Following the tours, the group traveled to a very nice restaurant for a traditional Khmer lunch before the final stop of the day.