New British Army DEMS training regiment opens
The British Army has officially opened its new Defence Explosive ordnance disposal, Munitions and Search Training Regiment (DEMS Trg Regt) at a new £100-million training facility at St George’s Barracks, Bicester. The training regiment was officially stood up by General Sir Peter Wall, Chief of the General Staff (CGS), on March 15.
At any one time the training school at Bicester is likely to host up to 200 staff and 300 students and is considered a centre of excellence in training service personnel to deal with the threat posed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The regiment will teach a number of disciplines and techniques, including IED search and disposal, and underwater disposal.
The new DEMS Trg Regt HQ replaces the previous facility at Lodge Hill in Kent, bringing together personnel from all three services. The school stretches more than 80 hectares and includes 32 separate specialist training spaces including a cave complex and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) dive pool.
At the opening of the facility, General Sir Peter Wall said “Our explosive search and disposal teams do one of the most dangerous roles in the armed forces often in the most hostile of environments. Their expertise and training is vital in supporting our troops to meet the challenges they face while on active service. This new £100-million facility will for the first time bring their training under one roof and will secure the training into the future.”
Lt Colonel Chris Henson, Commanding Officer DEMS Trg Regt, added “This is an absolutely first class training facility bringing together expertise from across the services and marks a major milestone in delivering EOD and search capability to defence.”
Over the course of a year 4,000 students will pass through the facility taking part in one of the 73 courses offered.