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Searching for CBRNe ID threats

From 23 November to 11 December 2015, the European Defence Agency (EDA) in cooperation with Austria as host nation, organised the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear explosives Improvised Devices Search Pilot Course (CBRNe ID Search Course), to enhance pMS’ knowledge on all aspects of C-IED.    

The event took place at the “AbwehrSchule” CBRN School in Korneuburg, Austria. A total of sixteen students attended the course which included a mixture of military and police Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), CBRN and Search specialists from the following countries: Austria, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Latvia, Czech Republic and Spain. A mixture of military and civilian CBRNe Search expertise ensured a wide range of operational experience was available during the course.

Practical training provided the most effective means of learning for this course and students were able to participate in immersive scenarios as commanders, searchers, EOD and Sampling and Identification of Biological, Chemical and Radiological Agents (SIBCRA) specialists in a joint CBRN response team. A variety of instructional methods were employed to achieve this learning: demonstrations, individual skills practice, group mini-tasks and full tactical tasks for teams provided a structured approach to learning. Differentiation was applied where required to compensate for language difficulties or adaptation of existing skills from SIBCRA to Search.

All practical exercises were recorded using photos and videos; this enabled every day to be concluded with a video debrief to ensure students understood the details of each phase even if they were involved in a separate aspect of the task. 

The various scenarios provided a range of operational complexities which highlighted the different operational capabilities, policies and procedures each pMS had. As a result, the course provided much opportunity for sharing best practice, and  a seminar was held to facilitate discussion about the range of capabilities.

A Distinguished Visitors Day was hosted by Austria on 10 December 2015. Several Defence Attaches and other visitors participated in the event and took the opportunity to visit the CBRN School for briefings on the course design and contents. Visitors also had the chance to visit a live “vessel search” demonstration in the Danube river.

The EDA intends to hold a CBRNe ID Search seminar during 2016 to define and exploit concepts on this area of expertise.

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