The Resilient Threat Management (RTM) 2013 conference, held on 4 – 6 March 2013, was an effort to bring the Counter IED community together to take stock of the past and look to the future. Although the presence of armed forces in Afghanistan will reduce significantly, the threat of the IED still remains.
It is the weapon of choice among adversaries and will continue to be that in the future. The difference is that in the future they will combine IEDs with other asymmetric threats to spread chaos and fear among the general public in order reach their goals. The only way to defeat the IED is to defeat the network and the only way to do that is through a comprehensive approach. The RTM 2013 conference embraces that approach as can be seen from the proceedings. It further highlights the need to learn from recent operations in order to be better prepared for the future. It also shows the need for increased civil-military cooperation across borders and between international organisations. Technology has also a role to play but requires proper guidance in order to be able to deliver effective capability enhancing contributions.
Within EDA a number of activities have been successfully running since 2008. Key achievements to date include:
- A novel train-the trainer approach enabling Member States to nationally develop key skills resulting in programmes on Search, Ground Sign Awareness, Combat Tracking and Manual Neutralisation Techniques;
- The definition, acquisition, design and deployment of an in-theatre forensic exploitation capability manned by a multinational team in record time. Operational since autumn 2011, EDA’s Counter-IED laboratory shows the effectiveness of forensics as an integral part to the ISAF operation;
- A wide range of efforts and projects addressing new protective systems for vehicles and personnel; a scenario-driven approach to optimising the use of detection techniques and technologies; a “Black Box” concept for vehicles.
Following the March conference the Project Team Counter IED has been developing a solid strategy for the future. It is envisaged that first edition of the new strategy will be ready in the autumn of 2013.