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Recently EUTM Mali conducted a Basic Military Search Course for 6 trainees of different Gendarmerie units in Koulikoro Training Camp (KTC). The course took place between the 6th and 24th January 2020 and it was delivered by 5 trainers from the Education and Training Task Force (ETTF) of EUTM Mali. The aim of the course was to provide the Malian Gendarmerie training in adapting tactics, techniques and procedures to the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threat by implementing basic military search skills.

The first week was used to teach the basic skills of weapon handling, individual and squad movement, map reading and radio communication. It also covered the very important subject of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in order to allow the trainees to incorporate this into their future training and operations. Using these basic skills as the building block, the second week focused on mine awareness (mine component and types, booby trap devices and excavation from the minefield) and the employment of the correct tactics, techniques and procedures relating to the Counter-IED lessons.

Finally the beginning of the last week saw the trainees conduct basic searches of vehicles and personnel. Like all good courses, the latter part of the week saw the students take part in a confirmatory exercise where all course subjects were practiced. This exercise was based upon an Operations Order that directed the Gendarmerie students to move between two locations in a convoy and if a suspected IED was discovered then they were to manage the situation. Not only did they find a suspected device, the students also successfully established a checkpoint and conducted personnel and vehicle searches, demonstrating a sound knowledge of the skills that they had been taught over the duration of the course.