The JCBRN Defence COE in close cooperation with the US Department of Energy (DOE) / National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) conducted the International Radiological/Nuclear Training for Emergency Response (I-RAD) basic course for the Hellenic Armed Forces CBRN Joint School over the period 9 – 13 May in Athens, Greece.

This tactical-level course was aimed at radiation protection specialists, first responders, law enforcement, and emergency managers. The syllabus provided practical information on how to effectively respond to radiological incidents and accidents through a combination of briefings, equipment demonstrations, and exercises. A wide variety of radiation detection instrumentation, radiation sources, and personal protective equipment were also utilised.

Twenty course participants from Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece (Airforce, Army, Navy, Fire Service), Lithuania and the Netherlands, enjoyed a mixture of theoretical lessons, practical activities, and exercises. Three key field exercise activities were conducted; a Radiological Pedestrian Search Operation (indoors and outdoors), a Radiological Mobile Search Operation in the garrison and a Radiological Source Recovery Operation.

The DOE/NNSA instructors were well received, and they provided a professional performance by sharing their experiences, conducting very well-prepared practical activities and stimulating interesting group discussions.

In total, the course covered several types of radiological incidents, command and control group construction for incident response, how to brief concepts of operation to operational teams, and how to work with outside agencies (such as police and security forces, foreign governments and news agencies) during a CBRN event.

The course feedback from the students reflected its benefit and many stated that it would enhance their career development.

For additional information on courses organized by the JCBRN Defence COE, please visit our Training Portal (https://www.jcbrncoe.org/index.php/courses-link-page).

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Author: LTC Jiří CHRÁSTEK (CZE-A)

Photos: Hellenic Armed Forces CBRN Joint School database