Improvised Explosive Detection and Disposal (IED-D) is an integral unit that has helped the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) accomplish its fight against an enemy posing the greatest danger to the country.
Soft-spoken Sergeant Clement Kilonzo is a twenty-eight year old KDF member specialized in Improvised Explosive Detection and Disposal (IED-D).
Enlisted in KDF in 1992, Sgt Kilonzo was posted to the Engineers Brigade, first in 12 Engineers for 14 years after his basic military training.
He was transferred to 10 Engineers in 2005, where he served until 2011 when he was posted as an instructor to the
School of Combat Engineering. Sgt Kilonzo is married with two sons.
The father of two says that Combat Engineering is a basic course for all soldiers posted to Engineers Brigade regardless of their specializations. However, those without special trades are accorded the opportunity to
choose a career of choice.
Sgt Kilonzo opted for Counter IED expert that entails stages of learning courses at the Combat School of Engineering
(COSE). After undergoing a specialized course, Sgt Kilonzo became an IED-D operator dedicated to safeguarding lives, property and restoring normalcy as soon as possible.
He is also mandated with collecting and preserving evidence without compromising safety.
According to Kilonzo, this is possible with the use of a remote operated vehicle, semi-remote by use of hook
and line equipment and by manual approach, wearing bomb suit or personal protective equipment.
Because of the ever-changing tact by the enemy, Sgt Kilonzo has earned firsthand experience working in Somalia under AMISOM as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) and Improvised Explosive Detection (IED) operator.
He says this is not an ordinary task because the IED has become the enemy’s weapon of choice against
troops and as an EOD operator, he has to be on the frontline to eliminate the
threat in the shortest time possible.
“I am always guided by the philosophies of an EOD/IED operator and my calling to serve Kenya keeps
me going no matter the circumstance,” Sgt Kilonzo says.
A few kilometers into the journey, the team halted and combed the
area. As the journey progressed and before hitting the 10km mark, an IED
prematurely detonated forcing the troops to disembarked and comb the
Several soldiers sustained injuries from shrapnel from the impact but there was no actual contact with the enemy although it was suspected that they were in the vicinity.
Our air support spotted the enemy few kilometers away and engaged them killing several. It was suspected that they were on standby to ambush AMISOM soldiers after the IED explosion.
Sgt Kilonzo says the incident reminds him of how important his work as a
Counter IED experts is.
“I appeal to my fellow EOD operators to always stick to the mandatory procedures. The ever-changing technology means our area of expertise faces new threats with each day. We need to stay ahead of the game as we are a critical component to soldiers in operation world over. Let’s strive to always be the hunter to avoid being the hunted.
We, however, can’t do all this without God who keeps watch over us despite the high risk that comes with
our job. We appreciate our families for being there for us.” Sgt Kilonzo continues to serve in his capacity as an EOD and remains undeterred to the cause of degrading the enemy by imparting knowledge to fellow soldiers as well as accepting the challenge when called upon.
Story done by KDF Magazine Version 17.