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NATO: Experts explore technological solutions for the detection and disposal of ...
NATO: Experts explore technological solutions for the detection and disposal of explosives.
20 Sep. 2012
The latest technologies to improve explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and the detection of explosives were the focus of the NATO EOD Demonstrations and Trials that took place in Trenčin, Slovakia, from 18 to 20 September. Representatives of companies, research and development institutes, NATO bodies and Allied and partner countries came together to discuss the way ahead. The event concluded with a seminar organized under the auspices of the NATO-Russia Council.

“Explosive ordnance will continue to pose a challenge to all our nations, both in operational theatres and closer to home,” says Dr Jamie Shea, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges. “Through better and closer cooperation, we can all benefit and increase our ability to counter this threat.”

Explosives are historically the weapons that have been most used against militaries and civilians by terrorist organizations. In the past few years, the use of improvised explosives by terrorists has cost the lives of more people than the combination of all other attacks.

Early detection of dangerous substances is one of the most effective ways to prevent attacks using explosives. Fast and reliable equipment to detect the presence of explosives and explosive devices is critical to fighting terrorism.
Cutting-edge solutions

The event was hosted by NATO's Centre of Excellence for Explosive Ordnance Disposal in Trenčin and organized under the framework of NATO's Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work.

The event was unique in that it brought together not only technological and scientific experts, but also explosive ordnance disposal personnel with hands-on experience from current operations. This multidisciplinary approach offered an opportunity to explore cutting-edge technological and scientific solutions to operational challenges.

The Demonstrations and Trials featured 52 exhibitors and companies from 18 countries. Participants also took part in discussions in conference and seminar format to analyse the existing gaps in the area of explosive ordnance disposal and detection.

Participants from 23 NATO nations and partner countries included 145 subject matter experts.
NATO-Russia Council seminar

On the last day of the event, a seminar was organized within the framework of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) Action Plan on Terrorism. Discussions focused on explosive ordnance disposal in the post-2014 environment, when the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force will have completed its mission in Afghanistan.

The seminar featured presentations from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Centre of Excellence and Allied Command Transformation, as well as national perspectives from Belgium and Russia.

“The Russians have a certain experience from Chechnya and the Northern Caucasus,” says Martin Underwood, a technical advisor in countering improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at Allied Command Transformation, which is based in Norfolk, Virginia, the United States.

“We believe that there are things that we can offer them to help them counter their domestic threat, but we also believe that they can offer information to us which will help us to break down those networks. A lot of networks can be traced back to the Northern Caucasus and to Chechnya, so there are a lot of international links and we believe that cooperation with the Russians will be hugely beneficial in the long term,” adds Mr Underwood.

Some 50 participants from 13 NRC nations took part in the seminar. Participants recognised the importance of continued training and education, information sharing and cooperation between countries as well as among different agencies at the national level.
Avv. Antonino Sugamele

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