The JCBRN Defence COE hosted a NATO Technical Exploitation Workshop held in Vyškov, Czech Republic, from 29 November – 1 December 2017. This workshop was an activity under the Emerging Security Challenges Division’s Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work (Reinforced) and was co-chaired by Major Holm Iversen Steen, Danish Army Intelligence Centre, and Mr. Samuel “Sam” Henze, NATO Headquarters - International Staff/Emerging Security Challenges Division (Counter-Terrorism Section) [NATO HQ – IS/ESC(CT)]. One of the workshop’s objectives was to facilitate better coordination between C-IED, EOD and the CBRN community. One day was specifically dedicated to a potential role of CBRN Defence capabilities within Technical Exploitation.

Technical Exploitation is the application of scientific methods to gain further knowledge and insight from information, materiel and captured persons. Technical exploitation supports the commander’s priorities including targeting, operations, judicial proceedings, force protection and training.

The workshop was open to participants from all NATO, and seven non-NATO-nations (Australia, Austria, Ireland, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland), ideally Military/Government officials of OF-2 to OF-5 level with technical exploitation capability development responsibilities, from the sub-tactical level to theatre and national level as well as weapons intelligence and intelligence experts and functional subject matter experts. In total, thirty participants from AUT, DNK, DEU, NLD, GBR, USA, but also NATO HQ, ACT, ACO JFC HQ BS, NSHQ, C-IED COE, and of course JCBRN Defence COE attended.

Mr. Sam Henze summarized that the special session on CBRN aspects of Technical Exploitation was a very fruitful one, and well supported by the CBRN Defence community.

To better clarify the roles of existing EOD, C-IED, technical exploitation and CBRN Defence capabilities, four situations were identified and led to the conclusion to better co-ordinate the next editions of C-IED and CBRN Defence related standardisation documents.

Another important conclusion was to develop a Low Level Collect standard to guide all-arms Level 1 collection of DMAT, including in a CBRN environment and contaminated DMAT.

A Sampling Identification Chemical Agent (SICA)/Weapons Intelligence Team (WIT) Experiment will be conducted in September 2018 in conjunction with the Slovak Field Exercise TOXIC VALLEY, which in turn will be executed in close synchronisation with the largest NATO CBRN Exercise of the last decades, CORONAT MASK 2018.

The experiment will be a joint endeavour of the JCBRN Defence COE, C-IED CoE and EOD COE in Slovakia.

The Workshop’s Co-Chairs will produce and distribute a complete list of recommendations derived from the special session on CBRN aspects of Technical Exploitation.

Author: LTC Bernd ALLERT (DEU A)