From the 31st October to the 1st November 2018 a delegation of the JCBRN Defence COE visited the multinational European Centre for MAnual Neutralisation Capabilities (ECMAN) in Vienna /AUT. It was headed by the Director of the JCBRN Defence COE, COL (GS) Vratislav OSVALD. He was accompanied by the Deputy Director COL Wolfgang REICH and the Department Directors of the Training Exercise and Education Department (TEED) and the Transformation Support Department (TSD). The visit was based on an official invitation, arranged by the Austrian Senior National Representative at the JCBRN Defence COE. The delegation was warmly welcomed by the Director of ECMAN, LTC Jürgen PIROLT (AUT-A).
|Group picture of the representatives from ECMAN, JCBRN Defence COE and the CBRN Defence Centre (AUT).
Aim of this visit
The aim was to gain an overview about the ECMAN capabilities, capacities and training sites, plus to work out possible fields of cooperation between the 2 international Organisations. The Centre for Manual Neutralisation in manned currently with 14 Experts coming from Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Italy and Sweden. Austria as the host nation is supporting with additional logistics Experts coming from the national Logistics School. The Centre has the aim to organize and conduct the international training and education as well as to support the progress of the development in this specific field of expertise.
Why is there a need for manual neutralisation?
The highly qualified experts of the manual neutralization are called to the explosive device to conduct their work, especially when a safe and secure transportation is not possible, or a controlled explosion at the location is too dangerous or even not probable because of the use of CBR loads. If so, the experts have to find a way to neutralise the Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD), Chemical Dispersal Device (CDD, Chemical Spraying Device (CSD)) on the spot and to avoid an explosion or spraying. They are trained to handle hostage-taking situations or to work on high visibility events.
The establishment of the Centre
The European Centre for Manual Neutralisation Capabilities (ECMAN) was officially opened on the 20th February 2018 and is currently limited for a period of 6 years, but the extension for additional 6 years is possible and realistic. Basically it was developed among the close strategic cooperation portfolio of the European Union countries under the umbrella of the European Defence Agency (EDA). Due to the fact that all 7 participating nations sent their real experts to Austria and additionally based on the experiences of the developing of this capability in Austria back to 2004, ECMAN hat reached its fully operational capability already at the beginning of the establishment. ECMAN aims to provide training in the procedures and techniques used in the manual neutralization of complex IEDs, contribute personnel, and / with regard to the interoperability of the participating nations and the EDA – conduct trainings and expertise as well as information exchange, thus ensuring a lessons-identified and lessons/learned process.
The most impressive and eye opening parts were the practical demonstrations of their skills in neutralising Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) in hostage-taking situations under unbelievable conditions and with CBRN substances. The Austrian CBRN Defence Centre is supporting the development of TTPs with a huge effort, but ECMAN is open and willing for the establishment of new cooperations with CBRN Defence Experts. COL (GS) Vratislav OSVALD thanked LTC Jürgen PIROLT for organising this great visit and handed over the plague of the JCBRN Defence COE.
|LTC Bernd ALLERT (DEU-A) is saved out of a hostile-taking situation.
|COL (GS) Vratislav OSVALD thanks the Director of ECMAN LTC Jürgen PIROLT for this invitation.
Follow on actions:
The JCBRN Defence COE will stay in contact with ECMAN. Both international organisations will continue to work on to intensify the relationships and to discover other fields of cooperation. This will be discussed in a re-invitation of ECMAN to our JCBRN Defence COE in the spring 2019.
Text: LTC Roman LAIMER (AUT-A), LTC Bernd ALLERT (DEU-A)
Photos: LTC Roman LAIMER (AUT-A)