The Iraqi Bomb Disposal School is increasing its capacity, so that it can train 1,700 personnel a year, up from 450 a year. Iraqi troops began working on EOD (Explosives Ordnance Disposal) work some four years ago. There were few Iraqis trained for this (who were not Sunni Arabs, and probably working for the Sunni Arab terrorist groups), so the Bomb Disposal School was established at Besmaya three years ago.
At the same time, the Iraqi army received its first batch of 40 Badger Armored Vehicles. There is some confusion over what the Badger is. It's basically a variant of the popular Cougar armored truck, widely used by bomb disposal teams. The Iraq army bought 378 Badger armored trucks. Originally called the Iraqi Light Armored Vehicles (ILAV), the Badgers cost about $432,000 each. The Iraqis also bought Mini-Andros II robots. This is a 225 pound bomb disposal robot used mainly by police organizations around the world.
Iraqi volunteers went through a seven week EOD course. There was also a nine week course for Iraqi army engineer officers, who would command the EOD units. The increase in training for Iraqi EOD specialists will enable Iraq to take over EOD duties from American units. There is still a lot of military explosives in Iraq, buried or hidden away. The Iraqi EOD personnel will be busy for a long time.