Soesterberg - 29 July, 2014 European Defence Agency
The EDA-developed Multinational Theatre Exploitation Laboratory Demonstrator, or MNTEL (D), arrived in the Netherlands on 24 July from Afghanistan, where it was deployed since 2011.
The laboratory will now form part of a new EDA-supported initiative, the Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL), providing a permanent technical exploitation training facility in the Netherlands to support counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) efforts. JDEAL will also provide up to two deployable Level 2 technical exploitation labs which will be available for international missions and operations involving the Member States participating in the project.
Building on the experiences of Afghanistan
The MNTEL (D) has been located in Kabul since November 2011, initially at Camp Warehouse at the operations centre for the multinational International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and then at Kabul International Airport since March 2013. In the Afghanistan Theatre of Operations it was under French management, which assumed lead nation responsibility for the project. During its deployment more than 6,000 exhibits were forensically examined.
From MNTEL to JDEAL
The equipment from the MNTEL will now be moved to Soesterberg, Netherlands where the new JDEAL training facility will be located. The Netherlands will act as lead nation for the new project, which will officially launch in September 2014. This redeployment has been carried out according to the detailed exit strategy planned and has been completed ahead of the fixed deadlines.
Continuing the fight against IEDs
Improvised Explosive Devices have been the single largest killer of coalition soldiers by a significant margin, and have also killed and injured thousands of the local Afghan population. The MNTEL (D) has proved an effective tool in the fight against IEDs, and the follow on JDEAL initiative will ensure that the capability, and that the lessons learned and experience gained in Afghanistan, will continue to be used for this purpose.