ROYAL GIBRALTAR REGIMENT (RG) soldier Lance Corporal Matthew Hall recently attended the 0804 Convention Munitions Disorder (CMD) course.  At the end of the course, LCpl Hall was given the accolade of best student, this despite him not having any previous EOD experience.

The 0804 Convention Munitions Disorder (CMD) course is an intense, four-week long course. The tri-service course, consisting of members from the Army, RAF and Navy, deals with the location, identification, on-site evaluation, rendering safe, recovery and final disposal of unexploded ordnance including booby traps but not Incendiary Explosive Devices (IED).

At the end of week one, in order to continue with the course, students have to complete a Reconnaissance Test.  The test is conducted in the large Exhibition Hall which contains examples of every munition dating back to WWII.  At random, trainers ask students 20 questions on items in the hall and they have to identify which type of munition it is, how it detonates and what the munition contain, this requires considerable pre-course study and attention to detail.  LCpl Hall passed with 100% accuracy.

Week two looks at how to dispose of ammunitions.  Week three concentrates on students being taught methods on how to locate munitions and how to effectively disarm them.

The final week focuses at Biological and Chemical Munitions Disposal (BCMD), Explosive Ordnance Clearance (EOC) and Explosive Ordnance Recce (EOR). This culminates in the students being tested on the knowledge they have acquired, sitting the exams under very strict conditions replicating the pressure required in any other academic achievement.

On completion of the course LCpl Hall said: “I am proud to now wear the Explosive Ordnance Badge on my uniform.  However this is just the first stage, I now have to complete a further eight weeks on my IEDD (Improvised Explosive Device Disposal) course.”

Captain Christopher Ghio, Officer Commanding of the EOD said “LCpl Matt Hall has displayed great mental dexterity, diligent study and professional effectiveness early on in his EOD career.  Any myth that the RG is a simple Job is busted by these testing and academic styled exams throughout our career”