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EOD in the Private Sector.

#1
Apologies to the other 16,700 members of the corps, but there now follows another AT-centric thread:

I've just spent an interesting time in the 'Outside the Wire' forum and it did get me thinking. I still have 5 years left in this blessed army (assuming they don't see sense and kick me out), but five years isn't a long time and I'm getting a feeling of ground rush already. So on to my point, at last:

What do the ARRSE collective know of and/or think of the civvy EOD companies and the lifestyle of their employees and consultants? I know that the massive salaries of the past are largely no more and that most of the work is in horrible places that you would normally avoid like the galloping pox, but is it a worthwhile industry to join? Discuss.
 
#2
Have you tried the UN website? They seem to have a steady flow of ex-AT related posts, and your ability to speak french would be a great advantage.

I know an ex-AT who started doing the MAG/HALO trust rounds. He said it was tough at first with time away and the money was only good due to it being tax free. He stuck it out and is know as far as I know a training consultant.

I suppose you have looked at the usual suspects of BacTec/Ribbands/Planiteod et al? I didn't realise that Planiteod carried out clearance ops in this country until tasked to collect all the items they had recovered for a building contractor but couldn't legally dispose of!!!!

The impression I got from them was of a bit of "cowboy" company bigging themselves up until the poop hit the fan then they needed bailing out. I think they have a small number of full timers and then call in guys held on their books so to speak when jobs come in.

Why don't you leave all this EOD malarkey behind and breed badgers or the like?
 
#3
RB - why don't you open a flower shop like Queenie? You could ask him for tips etc.

Or go Safari - value for money on those courses.

Make a decision and I'll ask you in person soon 8O
 
#4
A certain little old fella is leaving from didcot soon to work for a company teaching foreigners IEDD. He is looking at about 50K with some of the work abroad some at home. It is on a contract basis though so no bookings no cash.
 
#5
farmaggeddon said:
RB - why don't you open a flower shop like Queenie? You could ask him for tips etc.

Or go Safari - value for money on those courses.

Make a decision and I'll ask you in person soon 8O
Am already a qualified Game ranger, did it for y POTL from NI. I have been twice charged by elephants and have won a giraffe sh1t spitting contest. Not much money in that caper and nationality/immigration issues as well.

The short contract nature of things can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your outlook. I quite like the idea of spending 8 months a year pottering around on a game farm in South Africa and 3 - 4 months clearing up explosive mess in bongo-bongo land to pay for it, but the practicalities may be more complex and difficult.

As well as EOD, what about the commercial explosives industry - blasting, demolition, sales etc? Has any ex AT ever made in these sectors?
 
#6
Not strictly the answer you are after little fella but the New Zealand Army are recruiting AT's to bolster thier EOD capability.
 
#7
Yep, pretty interesting environment, what with the so13 growth... What about that HMS mob - not sure what they are up to but they've got some high priced help joined them over the last few month I see. Anyome know what they are up to? And Med eng have a few interesting characters..
 
#10
What do the ARRSE collective know of and/or think of the civvy EOD companies and the lifestyle of their employees and consultants? I know that the massive salaries of the past are largely no more and that most of the work is in horrible places that you would normally avoid like the galloping pox, but is it a worthwhile industry to join? Discuss.


Take a look at this website www.destroylandmines.com it should answer some questions. I work in the civvy EOD industry and it can be very rewarding, you'll use a lot of the skills gained in the military and you'll be given the responsibilty you deserve
 
#11
Sorry boddiker, I wouldn't do land mine clearnce for all the money in the world...... Shi**y countries, dangerous job. And the only way to do it is to get down on your hands and knees and prod about with a sharp stick. (though I'm not a sapper.....)Thats why land mine clerance companies pay locals a pittcance for doing it.
 
#12
I witnessed the international civvy EOD fraternity running away from Iraq on Telic 2, very humorous massive convoy of air conditioned vehicles crossing the border just under mach 2.

Does bring out the serious point of working in shitholes with very dubious protection. I prefer to do my EOD covered by several thousand mates with tanks, IFV's and assault rifles.
 
#13
Yeah, but doing civvy security for numb-nuts in Iraq who clear the mines gives you 450 US$ a day!

I like money ad stood around with a rifle and a pistol all day suits me fine (fair enough, the EOD bods get double that but staring a tonne of semtex in the face is not good drills).
 
#14
450$US is only 230 pounds :? and the thought of doing this sh1t with no green machine (however arrse) doesn't bear thinking about!

Rowley, Surely the ability to walk unaided is an advantage to all these jobs? :wink: (As opposed to rolling like a weeble in my case :!: )
 
#15
I bumped into an ex AT out there. Little bloke who used to work with the commando's. He got paid a mint for just picking the stuff up and putting it in a hole. He couldn't do the EOD work as he hadn't done a course at Redstone, and as such the Yank company would only hire him as a pick up monkey, even though he was more qualified than half the idiots there.

As for the civi security, they are all gun toting lunatics, all wanting to 'cap a bad guy'. They caused more alerts than the British army did.

Lesson 1 - make sure you have a recognisable qualification.

Lesson 2 - Don't stand near a gun loving freak with an itchy trigger finger.

Rowley, you never could stand up stright anyway. Thats why you work at a desk.
 
#16
Interesting stuff. Was the US firm in Iraq TetraTech, perchance?

I am undergoing an MLI at the moment and will soon be able to walk tall. OK, walk erect. No, walk upright. Oh, alright, not be such a spacker.

PS farms, you credit MCM Div with a prescience, conscience and downright ability that we all know they don't possess when you ascribe their motives for my current desk flying shenanigans. I was offensively healthy just before I landed at the desk. They sent me there because its an IT based job, and they know I hate IT.
 
#18
Sir Rowley Birkin QC said:
Interesting stuff. Was the US firm in Iraq TetraTech, perchance?
I have had some dealings with Tetra Tech............ not good.

They were doing large scale Logistic Demolitions of Sadams stockpiles.....

As for the quality of their Operators.... even worse. Steer clear if at all possible.

I toyed with the idea of Civvy EOD after I left, but as previous posters have said, you have no back up and the pay isn't THAT good. There are plenty of jobs out there using the AT/ATO sub skills like Security or Bomb Damage Assessments, Terrorist MO's, Risk Management, Project Management etc etc

Or you could stick with the current trend and go Met Police?
 
#19
Don’t know much about the commercial sector, but as a heads up on humanitarian ‘Mine Action’ (which includes EOD):

Upside

Pay’s not a fortune, but OK (36K – 48K tax free)

You don’t spend much on tour (but you tend to make up for it on leave)
You get to travel (a lot)

Great life if you’re single (I’m not): as you’re already halfway around the world, why go back to UK on leave? Fly a bit further and chill out in SEA or large it in UAE.

If you’re into EOD (because that’s what you want to do in life), you get to learn and practise all aspects of CMD (not just BIP and bulk dems - You realise just how little you were actually taught about EOD as an AT)

You can make a noticeable difference to the place you’re in.

Warm, fuzzy feeling from doing aid work.

Middling side

Social life is good in some places (SEA), practically non-existent in others (ME). If you’re in a place with a large expat community, it can be very good.

Not all places you might think are sh-tholes are; most (though not all) of the guys who worked in Iran would work there again.

Downside

9/10 postings are hot and/or dusty.

You’re usually based in the middle-of-nowhere.

Corruption and bureaucracy (but then if Third World countries could get their act together, you wouldn’t need to be there).

Not so great if you’re married as, naturally, you spend most of your time away from home (a lot more than you would do in the Army).

6 or 7 (working) day weeks in most places.

Mine clearance may be dangerous (or as dangerous as you make it) but it’s not exciting. It is interesting though – and equipment and techniques are constantly developing.

Risks (in my opinion) are:

1. RTAs (consistently sh-te driving in the Third World)
2. Dodgy airplanes
3. Malaria
4. Snakes
5. Mines
6. UXO

in that order.

Security, obviously, should be in there; the risk varies on where you are (Laos – no problem, Africa – OK if you’re careful, Iraq – not so much fun anymore).

We don’t get many ex-ATs in Mine Action (naff term I know, but that’s what it’s called). Don’t know why, maybe most of them take IT jobs or get commissioned. Perhaps they go straight for the commercial sector– dunno, don’t care, I’m not recruiting.

We get a lot of ex-RE. Technically they’re not great, they tend to be stuck with the very basics they learned on Combat Demolitions and won’t budge from that. However, they bring other skills like man-management (mine clearance relies a lot on people doing what they’re told, when they’re told to do it), field engineering (useful if you’re setting up camps, making roads etc.) and basic common sense. We also get quite a few ex-Infantry officers, who’ve followed the HALO route in.

Bit of advice

If I was still in the Army, and knew I was going into Mine Action when I left, I’d start reading up on it. Good places to start are:

IMAS: Guidelines for writing national standards and SOPs – bit dry, but gives you an idea of the extent of what’s involved (bit more than pointy sticks)

GICHD: (Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining – check out the publications, they’re really well written)

“James Madison University” – publishes the Journal of Mine Action (not great – more: “What RONCO's doing this week” or "I want a job doing sod-all but writing essays about Mine Action, and this is the first step towards getting it" type articles but useful light reading). To their credit though, they host ORDATA, which is a useful resource for UXO Identification.

You’ll also pick up a few other links from these, that might be useful.

Mine Action has its own web forum, run by MgM (Menschen Gegen Minen). It’s not great, has gone very quiet recently, and sometimes degenerates into virtual-handbag-throwing (though not so much nowadays). It does however post vacancy notices.

Hope that helps. That’s my good deed done for today; sense a warm-and-fuzzy feeling coming on already (but then it’s freaking hot where I am now).

.
 

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