The CBRN Symposium took place in Berlin/Germany from 3rd to 5th September 2018. German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, Federal Ministry of Defence, Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, as well as the Bundeswehr CBRN Defence Command and the CBRN Working Group in the Association of the German Army supported the German Association for Defence Technology to prepare and to conduct the symposium.

State Secretary of the Interior, Building and Community, Mr. Klaus VITT <fig. 1>, opened the Symposium, followed by the Austrian Minister of the Interior, Mr. Herbert KICKL.

<fig. 1> State Secretary Vitt opened the Symposium

Objectives of the symposium were to provide a professional platform for encounters and exchange of the international CBRN protection community, and to inform representatives from the fields of politics, administration, industry, academia, civilian and military organisations about latest developments in security policy and provide an up-to-date risk assessment with a view to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risks and the challenges they represent for military and civilian systems when it comes to hazard prevention. And last but not least the symposium should, in particular, focus on three relevant areas for development of CBRN protection: National and international cooperation; the issue of prevention (averting hazard or damage situations in the first place) as the overriding principle when fulfilling CBRN protection tasks; and he efforts to create a resilient system, recognising its vulnerabilities.

The organisers subdivided the conference into two parts: a plenary session combined with two panel sessions, and an industrial exhibition <fig. 2>, as well as a live demonstration. All enabling components of CBRN defence were covered. The live demonstration took place in Schloss DIEDERSDORF. DEU presented mainly its civilian CBRN defence capabilities <fig 3>. A poster exhibition complemented the symposium.

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<fig. 2> Industries presented their products.
<fig. 3> Drone decontaminates a vehicle

Fourteen panels offered the opportunity to discuss the entire spectrum of CBRN defence, also such important ones as “Innovations by Industries” and “Innovation, Research and Development”.

Colonel (CZE AR) Jiri GAJDOS, Director of the Framework Nations Concept (FNC) Cluster CBRN Protection Cluster Support Cell (CSC) and former Director of the JCBRN Defence COE in Vyškov, informed on FNC Exercise CORONAT MASK <fig. 4> <fig. 5>. Colonel (USA AF) Anthony STROUP, IMS/PCD(NCB), and LtCol Bernd ALLERT provided a joint briefing on “Disablement of WMD: How NATO takes into account the paradigm change”.

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<fig. 4> Colonel Gajdos presented FNC Cluster CBRN Protection
<fig. 5> FNC Cluster CBRN Protection

About 500 speakers and participants, military and civilian, academics and industries represented 45 nations (from A as AUSTRIA to Y as YEMEN) and International Organisations (DG HOME/European Commission, FNC Cluster CBRN Protection, INTERPOL, NATO HQ – IMS/PCD(NCB), NATO HQ – IS/PASP(ACDC), OPCW, SHAPE, JCBRND COE, SIPRI).

Of course, in addition the Symposium offered an excellent networking opportunity <fig. 6>.

<fig. 6> Three former commanders of the famous 1st German CBRND Coy LtCol (rtd.) Denzel, Col (rtd.) Widders, LtCol Allert

Text: LTC Bernd ALLERT (DEU A)

Photos: CBRN Symposium, LTC Bernd ALLERT (DEU A)