AFOSI leads advanced engagement to fortify relations

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  • AFOSI Public Affairs

Air Force Office of Special Investigations Expeditionary Detachment 2502, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, joined AFOSI 25th Expeditionary Field Investigations Squadron, an AFOSI Forensic Science Consultant from the United States Air Force Special Investigations Academy, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Glynco, Ga., and Explosive Ordinance Disposal technicians from across the Air Force, to conduct an Advanced Post Blast Analysis and Evidence Preservation engagement with the Burkinabe Gendarme at the Gendarmerie Headquarters, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Oct. 7-11, 2019.

The engagement, which had 15 Gendarme investigators representing nine provinces in Burkina Faso, was a continuation of the inaugural AFOSI-led Post Blast Analysis and Evidence Preservation engagement conducted in July 2019.

“We came together as a Command, brought in experts from all over the world to help strengthen relationships with our partners, and more importantly, enhance their capabilities so they are more effective in combatting threats they’re faced with daily,” an AFOSI EDet 2502 special agent said. “This engagement made a significant difference in our relationship with our Burkinabe counterparts and the U.S. Embassy, and we believe it will open up several opportunities for the incoming EDet 2502 team.”

The engagement consisted of presentations from AFOSI, EOD, and the Gendarmerie discussing Improvised Explosive Device familiarization, IED threats in Burkina Faso, the effects of IEDs and the procedures for conducting a post-blast evidence collection, preservation and analysis.

Two of the five days featured live demolition exercises at Camp Zagre, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where EOD personnel conducted multiple detonations demonstrating the effects of an IED explosion.

The second range day consisted of a practical exercise involving two vehicle explosions and the Gendarme investigators responding to the scene to conduct a post-blast analysis and to collect and preserve evidence from the scene.

The practical exercise enabled the Burkinabes to apply the skillsets they learned from AFOSI and EOD during both engagements. During the final day, the participants briefed their peers, AFOSI, and EOD regarding their response and each step of the post-blast analysis process. They also briefed about each piece of evidence and explained why each piece was collected as evidence.

During his closing remarks, Colonel Kanou Coulibaly, Gendarmerie, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, said, “On behalf of the Chief of Staff, thank you to the instructors for their time and efforts they invested with the Gendarmes, and long live the collaboration between Burkina Faso and the United States of America.”