Land Mines

Defence written question – answered on 24th January 2008.

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Photo of Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what pre-deployment training is provided for (a) mine detection and (b) personnel extraction from minefields.

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

All personnel deploying either as an individual replacement (IR), or as part of a formed unit undertake extensive training in mine awareness and minefield immediate action drills. These are as follows:

(a) a 45 minute lecture on the threat of mines, specific to the theatre they are deploying to;

(b) a 60 minute practical lesson (demonstration and practice) at identifying mines or potentially mined areas and how to extract themselves and their team from a minefield or mined area;

(c) further opportunities to practise mine awareness and extraction drills including during the Confirmatory Training Exercise at Stanford Training Area (STANTA) where individuals are assessed on their assimilation of these drills;

(d) "sweep up" training focused on areas where weakness or misunderstanding is identified.

On arrival in theatre, mine awareness and any new theatre specific procedures are revised and practised. This is part of the Reception, Staging and Onward Integration (RSOI) training package.

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