South Shields soldier teaches troops to keep safe from IEDs
A British soldier from South Shields, in Tyne and Wear, North East England, is training thousands of British troops to keep safe from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as they work trying to bring security and stability to Afghanistan.
Bombardier Charlie Lambert, aged 37, from South Shields, is on his third operational tour of Afghanistan and is working as part of a small team providing Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) training to all the new soldiers arriving in Afghanistan.
Based at Camp Bastion, Bdr Lambert and the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) and Search Task Force train soldiers before they deploy to their Forward Operating Bases and Patrol Bases. The EOD and search task force also deal with all the bombs and IEDs that get found or reported in theatre.
Bdr Lambert, who joined the Army in his teens is a member of 19 Regiment Royal Artillery. He has served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and twice before in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2007.
“We have given refresher training to over 8000 soldiers since arriving in theatre, and still have three months left to push of a six month tour,” said Bdr Lambert, a former pupil of Springfield Comprehensive School in Jarrow.
“We teach all the current drills and skills to a high standard to combat the threat of IEDs. It’s also a good chance for the girls and guys to have a refresher of current practices before they go forward.
“With IEDs leading to the highest casualty rate in Afghanistan it is very important that they receive this training and comply with the right procedures before they get on the ground. The British casualty rate from IEDs has come down compared to other nationalities we serve alongside, so it’s already proven that this training saves lives.”
Charlie is looking forward to returning home for some leave in the autumn but is not missing the British summer.
“I’m definitely not missing the weather in the UK at the moment; it seems to have been raining non-stop for the last three months,” he said.