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16 septembre 2015 3 16 /09 /septembre /2015 07:50
"European Guardian 2015" welcomes distinguished guests


Vienna - 15 September, 2015 European Defence Agency

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) continue to cause significant casualties in operations as well as in civil surroundings. Therefore, countering them remains a priority for all participating Member States. There are situations where the use of normal explosives ordnance disposal procedures is inappropriate due to the operational situation, and Manual Neutralisation Techniques – a last resort of Commanders - might be required to counter the threat. On 8 September, Austria and the European Defence Agency organised the second Distinguished Visitors day during the margins of Exercise “European Guardian 2015” at the Austrian Logistics School facilities of Vienna, Austria.


Forty participants from Austria, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Republic of Serbia, Sweden, and UK, attended the Distinguished Visitors’ Day of the European Guardian 2015 Manual Neutralisation Techniques Courses & Exercises programme. Representatives from EUROPOL and the C-IED Centre of Excellence also took part in the event. 

The day was presided over by the Austrian Armed Forces Capabilities Director Brigadier General Peter Resch and the EDA Capability, Armament & Technology Director, Peter Round. Both recognised the relevance of the programme and insisted on the need to continue to develop it in the future. 

A live demonstration, executed by an MNT specialists team, was staged in the margins of the meeting. The demonstration consisted of the disposal of an IED which held a chemical payload and several complex initiation systems. Attendees not only had the opportunity to witness all MNT teams immersed in their tasks but also to discuss their activity and the latest innovations in MNT kits. 

Attendees discussed their expectations of the programme during their visit to the specific “urban” simulated training area. It was generally agreed that one of the most relevant take away points was that MNT operators are highly trained and few in number, and that given the high degree of specialisation needed, frequent refresher training of MNT operators was considered crucial. To that end, the Manual Neutralisation Techniques Courses & Exercises programme is extremely valuable. The next milestone within the programme will be the first one week MNT refresher course to be held in November 2015 at the Austrian Logistics School.


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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
The European Defence Agency is coordinating an effort to develop mobile counter-IED laboratories.(Photo French MoD)

The European Defence Agency is coordinating an effort to develop mobile counter-IED laboratories.(Photo French MoD)


March 18, 2015 By Julian Hale – Defense News


BRUSSELS — The Netherlands is the lead nation in an EU effort to build two mobile counter-IED labs for use by EU countries at a cost of about €10 million (US $10.6 million).


The money will come from an ad hoc EDA budget. The new labs are due to be available for deployment in theater by the end of 2015, according to an EDA official.


Coordinated by the European Defence Agency (EDA), Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden are involved, while other countries have also expressed interest in the project. Only these 12 countries currently can decide on where the labs would be deployed.


The goal is to have the labs ready to be deployed within five days and fully operational in a given mission area within 21 days.


The aim of the Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL) is to gather information about IEDs to better understand, identify and reveal IED threat networks. This will enable EU countries to adapt the tactics, techniques and procedures they use in operations and training.


The EDA has already issued a tender, which cannot be seen by the general public, to produce two deployable, fully functional laboratories, as well as housing for them. The EDA is currently evaluating offers received by industry in order to design, develop and deliver the JDEAL capability.


Asked which companies had responded to the tender, an EDA official said offers had been received but "the names of the companies cannot be disclosed as the evaluation process is ongoing."


The technical functionalities required by the tender cover area such as electronics, chemical, media and documentation exploitation, triage, and command and control.


After the EDA has finalized contracts with supplier companies, the labs are expected to be ready for deployment in November or December.

Dutch To Develop Counter-IED Labs for EU
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10 février 2015 2 10 /02 /février /2015 08:50
Counter-IED training photo EDA

Counter-IED training photo EDA


Brussels - 06 February, 2015 European Defence Agency


Homemade bombs are threats that are not going to go away, and ever closer civil-military cooperation is needed to neutralise them, as EDA Capability, Armament and Technology Director Pete Round explains in this opinion piece originally published by Security Europe.


Improvised explosive devices remain the single largest killer of coalition soldiers in the war in Afghanistan – and a favoured weapon of Europe’s home-grown terrorists as well. This has put the devices at the forefront of public debate, with the acronym ‘IED’ now used and widely understood well beyond just military circles.

However, even if they have gained a lot of public attention in the last few years, IEDs are nothing new. With their low cost and ability to cause significant damage they have been the weapon of choice for insurgents fighting technologically superior forces for decades.


Biggest threat

With this asymmetric warfare likely to remain the norm, IEDs will continue to be the biggest single threat to our soldiers on the ground – as well as being a growing threat to civilian populations. It is vital that the experience and knowledge gained in fighting IEDs in Afghanistan is not lost. Moreover, we need to ensure the best possible collaboration between military and civilian law enforcement entities.

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has played an important role in ensuring that skills and knowledge in tackling IEDs are maintained. One important element of its counter-IED work is technical exploitation. This refers to the recording and analysing of information related to events, scenes, technical components and the materials used in an IED attack.

The objective of counter-IED exploitation is to gather the technical and tactical data about the attack whilst at the same time identifying the IED “supply chain” in order to gather intelligence about those involved in IED production and use. Exploitation allows bomb disposal experts to better understand the threat they are dealing with, helping them to predict future activity and allowing them to attack the network involved in producing the devices. A number of the EU’s civil security research projects financed by the European Commission aim for similar goals, for example.

Counter-IED exploitation was the rationale behind the 2011-2014 deployment of a multi-national theatre exploitation laboratory in Afghanistan, where it helped disrupt networks making and using IEDs. In parallel to that effort, a new programme, called the “Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory” (JDEAL) was begun in May 2013. Under Dutch lead, its aim was to establish a permanent IED exploitation training facility in the Netherlands, staffed by a permanent multinational team. Under the project, a further two deployable laboratories could be procured for use in future operations.


Pooling and sharing

Initiatives such as JDEAL aim to ensure that the knowledge gained at a considerable price in wartime is not lost to other defence actors, but also made available to the bomb disposal community as a whole, whether military or civil. Indeed, IEDs are not only a threat to our soldiers overseas: for decades, they have also been used against civilians in Europe often with lethal results. They will continue as the weapon of choice for individuals planning terror attacks against Europe’s homeland.

In order to ensure an efficient “spillover” of know-how between these two interconnected worlds, dedicated events have recently been jointly organised by the EDA and Europol. These have brought together experts from as many as 16 different European countries.

The overarching idea is really quite simple: participants take part in realistic training scenarios that involve homemade explosives based on situations experienced in the real world. By doing so, they share best practices and improve their skills through multinational and civil-military cooperation. Even the United States has showed interest in the initiative by sending experts from the FBI and US Department of Justice.


Winning the IED war

This combined approach ought to be extended to the whole spectrum of C-IED activities – and not just for the disposal of homemade explosives. Other critical skills, such as exploitation techniques currently tackled via the JDEAL project, are needed to win the IED war.

If we want to effectively predict and prevent further IED-related incidents on the battlefield or the homeland – and develop the means to safely neutralise them in a variety of conditions – then we need to push this civil-military cooperation as far as we can. The lives of European soldiers and citizens might very well depend on it.


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29 novembre 2014 6 29 /11 /novembre /2014 18:50
Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL) - powered by EDA

26 nov. 2014 European Defence Agency - Dutch Ministry of Defence


The Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL), is designed to help continue the fight against improvised explosive devices. The project, launched in 2013 under the auspices of the European Defence Agency (EDA), provides a new permanent technical exploitation training facility based in Soesterberg in the Netherlands.

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6 novembre 2014 4 06 /11 /novembre /2014 19:50
New facility to help in fight against IEDs opens in the Netherlands


Soesterberg - 04 November, 2014 European Defence Agency


A new facility designed to help in the fight against Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) was officially opened today in the Netherlands. The Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL) provides a permanent technical exploitation training capability in the Dutch town of Soesterberg. Under the project a further two deployable laboratories could be procured for use in future operations.


JDEAL, which was facilitated by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and lead nation the Netherlands, focuses on training the full range of skills needed for technical exploitation. This involves the recording and analysing of information related to events, scenes, technical components, and material used in IED attacks. The project makes use of equipment and knowledge gained from the EDA developed Counter-IED Technical Exploitation Laboratory previously deployed with ISAF in Kabul.

Alongside the Netherlands, ten other EDA Member States – Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden – plus Norway have joined the project. Denmark, the United Kingdom, the United States and the NATO Counter-IED Centre of Excellence have also sent observers.

Warrant Officer Bert Westers, from the Dutch armed forces, was previously stationed at the laboratory in Afghanistan and will now act as a trainer at JDEAL. He commented: “This new facility allows us to maintain and build on the skills and experiences that we gained in Kabul. It also helps to improve our forces’ ability to deal with threats from IEDs in the future.”


Education, research, and deployable capabilities

The training facility will host both national and multina­tional training events, tailored to the needs of the Member States involved. Alongside the training aspect, JDEAL is intended to be a platform for research and development and is specifically designed for subprojects to be launched under its framework. It will also work closely with other actors and cooperative bodies working in the counter-IED field.

In a second step the establish­ment of two deployable laboratories is planned, in order to have at least one available for upcoming operations/missions by the second half of 2015.



The JDEAL project will work across the entire scope of IED exploitation. This includes detailed visual examination and high quality image capture; technical exploitation report­ing; biometric analysis (latent finger print recovery); elec­trical circuitry (primarily radio parts); document and me­dia recovery (focused on the mobile phones often used as IED triggering devices); chemical analysis; mechanical exploitation as well as other material exploitation. This is done in close cooperation with intelligence services, which can use the results to attack the networks involved in manufacturing the IEDs.

The JDEAL project was born out of the EDA developed mul­tinational counter-IED Exploitation Laboratory (MNTEL), which was deployed in Kabul under French management. During the laboratory’s three year deployment in Af­ghanistan more than 6 000 IEDs were forensically ex­amined, providing invaluable support to law enforce­ment and leading to numerous terrorist prosecutions.


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7 août 2014 4 07 /08 /août /2014 12:50
From MNTEL to JDEAL: Counter-IED lab arrives in the Netherlands


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.



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. 


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