Page 1

ISSN 2050-6732 (Print) ISSN 2050-6740 (Online)

Counter-IED Report Autumn/Winter 2012





Pearson Engineering Route Opening and Clearing Capability (PEROCC) PEROCC provides a single platform solution to the requirements of counter IED activity through the application of a suite of tools to a chassis, with the capability to detect explosive threats and proof routes at tempo whilst maintaining a high level of self-protection. Key features • Based around any commercially

available wheeled loader, providing inherent high levels of reliability

Roller wheels follow ground contours providing constant ground contact

Under armor hydraulically operated quick hitch/jettison system for front and rear equipment

Interrogation/manipulation arm which can be used to deploy a range of attachments to suit the task in hand, it can also be used as a crane for self-repair operations

Can be fitted with arm and/or chassis mounted electronic IED detection capabilities

Double V-shaped blast deflecting armored hull beneath crew compartment

Crew compartment protected to STANAG 4569 Level 3 and above

• • • • •

Blast-Off Wheels Facility to install an Overhead Weapon Station Configurable storage space Night/day indirect vision systems Economically in-stride repairable capabilities post blast

About Pearson Engineering First established in 1985, Pearson Engineering remains to this day a privately owned, family run business, founded on a commitment to provide world-class advanced engineering solutions to meet the challenges faced by modern Armed Forces. Pearson Engineering is based in the UK with a subsidiary, PE Inc, located in Atlanta Georgia. Today, our range of interchangeable Special to Role Equipment is used by the Armed Forces of many different nations worldwide.

For more information visit



Counter-IED Report Published by Delta Business Media Limited 3rd floor 207 Regent Street London W1B 3HH United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7193 2303 Fax: +44 (0) 20 3014 7659

PUBLISHER’S NOTE Welcome to the Autumn/Winter 2012 edition of the Counter-IED Report. Our editorial team would like to thank editorial contributors to this edition for their valuable contributions and support of this important initiative. Over the past year, the Counter-IED Report has continued its efforts to publish more editorial material, increasing its value to readers. We could not achieve this without the contributions of many experts in the field of counter-IED and beyond.

ISSN 2050-6732 (Print) ISSN 2050-6740 (Online) The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this report are those of the authors alone

We hope you find this Autumn/Winter 2012 edition both interesting and informative, and we encourage readers to email us their feedback.

and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this report do not necessarily express

We welcome submissions of articles, case studies, interviews, opinion pieces and ideas that support the editorial content of the next edition of the report, which will be available in April 2013. Suggestions for additional topics are also encouraged. Please submit your enquiries to:

the views of the publisher. While every care has been taken in the preparation of the report, the publisher is not responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

We would like to wish you a festive holiday season and prosperous New Year from all the staff at Delta Business Media and the Counter-IED Report team.

© 2012. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the publisher. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,




Best regards, Julia Dolengo Publisher Counter-IED Report

or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

Quick Response Code Counter-IED Report website









By Peter Kant, Executive Vice President, Rapiscan Systems

By Dr Franco Fiore, Principal Scientist, Head, ISR Capability COMMUNICATION (ICAR) By Philippe Morgand, Project Manager, Sensors Processing Area Team Sensor Group, NATO Communications and Laboratory department, Thales Communications and Security and Information Agency Michael Sieber, Assistant Director Research & Technology, European Defence Agency


By Vitor Felisberto, PRT OF3 (army), C-IED Centre of Excellence




By Edith Wilkinson and Rob Hyde-Bales, Centre for International Security and Resilience (CISR), Cranfield University, UK




By Dinesh HC Rempling, Technical Project Officer R&T, European Defence Agency; Jim Blackburn, Assistant Capability Manager and Project Officer C-IED, European Defence Agency; 59 UNMAS – SUPPORTING C-IED OPERATIONS IN SOMALIA Enrique Martin Romero, Project Manager, E&Q Engineering; By Alan Barlow MBE, Senior Counter-IED Advisor, Javier Fuentes, Technical Manager, E&Q Engineering UNMAS Somalia


By Schiebel Group

By Cranfield University, UK

By Belinda Goslin, consultant


By Pearson Engineering Ltd


By Major Alexander Hugyár (SVK A), Head of the NATO Explosive Ordnance Disposal Centre of Excellence (NATO EOD COE) Training Branch


By Lieutenant Colonel Sandor Zsiros, (HUN-A) Head of the NATO Explosive Ordnance Disposal Centre of Excellence (EOD COE) Technology Development Department


By US Army 1st Lieutenant Jeffrey W Vlietstra, 49th Engineer Detachment (K9)


By Dinesh HC Rempling, Technical Project Officer R&T and Jim Blackburn, Assistant Capability Manager and Project Officer C-IED, European Defence Agency (EDA)



By Scanna MSC Ltd

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

By Jurjen Hoekstra, Programme Management Support Officer (PMSO), OCCAR


By Dr Spyros Masouros, ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity Research Fellow, Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London and Professor Anthony MJ Bull, Director of the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies, Imperial College London


By Neil Ham MSc and Keith White CEng, AeroGlow Ltd

88 DSEi 2013


By Philippe Minchin, Researcher for BCB International Ltd




HOW BEST TO APPROACH THE IED PROBLEM By Dr Franco Fiore, Principal Scientist, Head, ISR Capability Area Team Sensor Group, NATO Communications and Information Agency

For many years, nations have focused their attention on protecting their troops from improvised explosive device (IED) attacks. However, in the last few years we have come to understand that effectively addressing the IED problem also requires focusing on trying to predict and prevent attacks, as early as possible, with the goal of avoiding the emplacement of such devices. This article describes what it is meant by ‘attack the networks’ and ‘defeat the device’ and why both are essential in the fight against the IED threat.


Illustration above: C-IED Proactive Model.

Late in 2005, when NATO started delivering counter-IED (C-IED) capabilities to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops, a NATO colleague developed what, in the C-IED community, is now well known as the C-IED Proactive Model (see above). The model has been through many revisions and changes, but in essence highlights the fact that the ‘IED event’,

the so-called ‘boom’ phase, is the end result of a long series of other phases that begins with the idea of carrying out an attack, an idea that has to be converted into concrete actions: funding the attack; procuring the materials to build the IED and to transport these materials to the bomb-building facility; planning the event; emplacing the IED; and having the triggerman perform the physical action of detonating the device. In some cases the triggerman for victimoperated IEDs is also the victim. After the boom phase, it is necessary for friendly forces to execute a series of activities called ‘exploitation’, performed at various levels, to ensure that as much information and data about the IED incident as possible is collected, analysed and fed into a data repository (database) for prediction and prevention of future attacks. An example of the data that might be collected during exploitation activities is the type of IED used in the attack (remotely controlled IED, pressure plate, tripwire), the



explosive employed (PETN, TNT, C4), the radio frequencies used to trigger the device in case of a remotely controlled IED, and the type of remote control used to activate the IED (toy remote control, VHF radio, cell phone). The exploitation level could also go deeper to include latent fingerprint detection and analysis for potential identification of the builder, transporter or triggerman.



Attack the IED networks is a well-known concept. The word ‘networks’ highlights the fact that there is more than one network that must be disrupted. In the C-IED Proactive Model, the idea is to try to ‘break the chain’ as early as possible. The end goal is straightforward: stop the process before it reaches the boom stage. For example, if an IED financer is brought to justice and stopped from flooding funds into the supply chain for IED building material, this means that several types of IED will not be built, and therefore not emplaced and not triggered. And if transportation of suspicious material from one location to another is intercepted and stopped, the same goal will be reached. The questions to be answered are: What is the best way to attack the IED networks? What tools are available? This topic has long been discussed and debated at conferences, in working groups, the public press, and in the C-IED community, and the responses are neither all the same nor straightforward. Attacking the network is an ‘all-arms’ battle that involves many actors and requires many actions to be taken. It encompasses training personnel, the smart and efficient use of intelligence, and the potential use of modern technologies to attack the networks.


Well-trained personnel are essential for attacking a network. A well-trained soldier can save a lot of lives. For example, consider a convoy travelling across a town with a trained soldier in the first vehicle observing the road and its surroundings as the convoy moves forward. His ability to spot ‘wrong situations’ (ie, ‘that car should not be there’, ‘that guy is acting strangely’ or ‘this situation is not right’) is vital to the 6

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

safety of the troops in the convoy and could make the difference between a safe and an injured convoy crew. Studies have shown that soldiers who grew up and had to ‘survive’ in socially challenging environments, such as degraded suburban areas, or grew up, for example, with experience hunting in the woods, have a natural tendency to be more alert than others when it comes to tense situations such as patrolling or moving in a convoy. Their ‘gut feelings’ help save their own and others’ lives. Human eyes and a ‘sixth sense’ have been widely recognised as critical factors in the prevention of IED attacks. Adhering to the concept of operations (ConOps) and convoy formations is also very important, as ConOps are often based on lessons learned and best practice as well as on the latest intelligence. Being trained to follow these rules is very important, and not following them has proved to be fatal. For example, if too much space is allowed between two vehicles in a convoy, a driver of a vehicle-borne IED (VBIED) could easily sneak in between two convoy vehicles. This scenario, resulting from negligence and potentially a lack of proper training, could result in fatalities. Clearly, having insufficiently trained personnel can be harmful to the entire team on the ground and put the lives of many at risk.


Intelligence is also a fundamental tool in the all-arms battle. When referring to ‘intelligence’, the adjective ‘actionable’ must be mentioned: intelligence data collected but not properly shared provides no intelligence at all. Actionable intelligence is the kind of information that could make the difference in breaking the IED chain very early on. At different levels of the C-IED Proactive Model, the combination of human intelligence (HUMINT), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), and biometrics are key enablers, providing decision makers with the means to spot a weak point in the chain and to break it as soon as possible. HUMINT is targeted at getting information about what is going on, what is planned and what is being talked about among the local population. ISR is employed to discover IED emplacers, and IEDs that are in place and ready to


be detonated, based on, for example, change- detection techniques as well as suspicious movements of material that could potentially lead to IED builders. Biometrics is typically used to support the exploitation process and target future IED emplacement.

Modern technologies for attacking the networks

Technologies linked to C-IED activities are often associated with a passive tool, a sensor that protects a convoy or a soldier on patrol, basically a tool for targeting the ‘defeat the device’ pillar when the IED has already been emplaced. Defeating the device means working very close to the boom phase, on the right-hand side of the C-IED Proactive Model. Nations have invested a great deal of money in research and development and technology procurement that ultimately provide a good set of tools for protecting troops on the ground. However, the question is: Can modern technologies be used to help attack the network? The immediate answer is yes. Currently, the majority of IEDs are built with homemade explosives using, for example, ammonium nitrate, a highly available fertiliser containing 34 per cent nitrogen. Heating or ignition may cause violent combustion or explosion of this material. It is therefore essential to ensure that movements of large quantities of this material are closely monitored so that misuse of it can be prevented. The NATO Communications and Information Agency delivered, under the NATO Security Investment Programme, several technologies for explosive detection that make it possible to screen vehicles and personnel entering ISAF compound entry control points. The main technology employed (X-ray) has proven to be quite successful against explosive and organic material detection, for both shape recognition (eg, to distinguish a can of soda from a barrel) and material discrimination (eg, to distinguish between a piece of explosive and a piece of metal of the same shape). Employing this type of technology, for example at national borders or at checkpoints along main supply routes (MSR), would increase the probability of intercepting transportation of suspicious material. Interception would clearly help

prevent the building and emplacement of multiple IEDs and ultimately save lives. The same approach could be applied with biometrics technologies such as latent fingerprint detection and analysis from a recovered IED, retina scanning, and stand-off identity detection (also known as gate recognition). Early identification of an individual involved in building an IED, in emplacement of an IED or in any of the C-IED Proactive Model phases may lead to an IED chain being broken early enough to prevent explosions and fatalities.


The answer to the question that forms the title of this article – ‘Attack the

networks versus defeat the device: how best to approach the IED problem?’ – is simple: a good mixture of both is key for prediction and prevention as well as protection. Relying on only one of the two would not be prudent and would certainly result in loss of life. The ‘train the forces’ pillar is a key enabler for the ‘attack the networks’ approach. Clearly it would be undesirable to send untrained troops into a theatre of operations and expose many others to a high risk of loss of life, or travel in a convoy that is not equipped with jammers against remotely controlled IEDs in areas where these are a threat. The IED fight is an all-arms battle and everything that could in any way support the attack the networks task is fundamental. ■

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Franco Fiore is the NATO Communication and Information Agency counter-terrorism and C-IED focal point. As Head of the Capability Area Team 5, Sensor Group, he supervises 15 personnel. Dr Fiore was formerly with the Italian Army Corps of Engineers (EW and Communications), from which he retired in 2004. He spent four years in the US serving at the NATO Medium Extended Air Defense System Management Agency (NAMEADSMA) as a sensor simulation engineer, and joined NC3A in January 2005. Since then he has been working on a number of counter-terrorism and C-IED projects. He is responsible for the Agency’s C-IED portfolio and has delivered C-IED capabilities for ISAF, and support for ACT and ACO in their counter-terrorism and C-IED activities, as well as for the NATO HQ Counter Terrorism Technology Section under the Emerging Security Challenges Division. Recently has been appointed as member of the newly established NATO Communication and Information Agency Business Process Design team. He has a Master degree in computer engineering, a PhD in telecommunications and electronics, and a PRINCE 2 Project Management qualification. His numerous papers, technical notes and articles on counter-terrorism and C-IED have been published in both newspapers and magazines.


DISCLAIMER Any opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the NCIA, NATO and the NATO nations but remain solely those of the author.



EXPLOITATION ─ THE KEY ROLE TO DEFEAT THE IED SYSTEM Allied Joint Publication (AJP)-3.15 defines exploitation as the ‘process by which the components of an IED System are recorded and analysed, in order to better understand the IED system and its components’. This definition describes very well the important contribution of exploitation throughout the counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) process. By Vitor Felisberto, PRT OF3 (army) C-IED Centre of Excellence

Photo above: Weapons Intelligence Training Course, Camp Marmal, Afghanistan. The students are learning to save lives by collecting information about enemy tactics, techniques, and the procedures to identify, track and eliminate the bomb-makers. 8

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

Exploitation requires a better understanding of the different activities of insurgents who use IED systems. This can include analysis of the networks, IED events and IED capabilities, as well as of associated components and materiel. Such analysis feeds the intelligence cycle so that effective countermeasures can be developed to defeat the IED system by attacking its network. Exploitation activities include the gathering and analysis of technical, tactical and forensic information that are crucial to assist in the following: • Building an understanding of an IED system, particularly to identify its critical vulnerabilities, and to provide the intelligence contribution to targeting • Identifying, confirming, analysing and assessing enemy tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) to assess trends and patterns, to identify weaknesses and ascertain advantage • Developing and refining friendly TTPs

and contributing to C-IED training and force protection (FP) to develop friendly force advantage • Developing detailed technical intelligence (TECHINT) to facilitate technical counter-measures for IEDs. • Contributing to the lessons process, leading to more effective operations and improved FP • Providing inputs to the operating framework for the intelligence cycle to develop understanding and intelligence • Providing evidence for legal action that may lead to prosecutions and/ or other government agency action; for example, diplomacy, economic coercion, and commercial pressure to defeat networks within an IED system.


The exploitation process is divided into three different stages, or levels, in accordance with the details acquired


from the analysis. The first level is directly related to in situ field exploitation, and is commonly known as post-blast exploitation. This should be carried out after an IED event only by those with the knowledge to perform this kind of task, such as weapon intelligence teams (WITs) and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) personnel. This is because any lack of ability or experience in this field could compromise the entire process, as damaged evidence obtained at this Level 1 Exploitation will affect the results obtained at higher levels of exploitation. Level 1 Exploitation includes the gathering of biometric evidence, electronic/electrical components for further analysis (serial numbers, brands, types, etc), information about explosives used (type and amount) and other information that is used not only to confirm enemy TTPs or to adapt to new ones, but also in criminal prosecutions and the INTEL cycle. This level is complete once all evidence has been delivered to the next level of the exploitation process, the Level 2 Exploitation. Level 2 Exploitation requires a more specialised environment in which exploitation labs and specialist technicians study in detail the evidence

obtained during Level 1 Exploitation. The labs are located in theatre, and provide more accurate information about the components of an IED and, if possible (depending on each event), about personnel involved in its fabrication, which is used to determine the methods used to attack the IED network. In certain cases there is a need to relate events in theatre with information or details from outside of theatre. In such instances, Level 2 Exploitation sends the evidence collected and already analysed at its level for Level 3 Exploitation. Level 3 Exploitation is out of theatre, and belongs to each nation. The analysis made at this level is very detailed, and can be used to relate or compare the results obtained to other available databases. This provides the information needed to close the cycle of the targeting process, if Level 2 Exploitation has been unable to achieve this. It also feeds the worldwide INTEL databases that, when shared, represent the most valuable tool of the overall process: a common understanding of the IED system by attacking the worldwide networks. The chart shown above, from (AJP)-3.15 b, represents the exploitation process being conducted by NATO, and is a schematic representation of the process described above.

Chart from (AJP)-3.15b representing the exploitation process being conducted by NATO.





On April 2010, France agreed to assume the role of lead nation of the European Defence Agency (EDA) Level 2 Exploitation lab to be deployed into Afghanistan in 2011. The C-IED COE was asked to provide support to the pre-deployment by providing technical assistance and training. The agreement was given by the steering committee and the Level 2 lab was stationed in the centre’s facilities prior to its adoption by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, where it is working perfectly, supporting the ISAF exploitation process. Further exploitation activity supported by the C-IED COE includes the WIT courses sponsored by NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT). In close coordination and cooperation with ACT, the centre is providing its facilities and instructors to conduct these courses, which are fundamental to the education and training of personnel to be deployed to ISAF missions. This support will become 100 per cent effective when, in 2013, the C-IED COE assumes total responsibility for the WIT courses. C-IED COE members also participate in key NATO documents concerning exploitation. Based on their experience, these experts contribute to the effectiveness of the entire exploitation process, where the feedback of those who work daily on this activity is crucial to achieve the right mindset.


Exploitation is fundamental to the entire C-IED process, providing the necessary ability to attack the networks established to support the IED system. The challenge for the future will be to adapt this exploitation process to new threats: chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) IEDs, weapons of mass destruction and others. These new threats will bring new challenges not only regarding procedures and mindset, but also in terms of equipment requirements: Are the labs prepared for working with contaminated samples? How can CBRN samples be collected and transported to the labs? And what changes to mindset and doctrine might be necessary? 10

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

Despite the many as yet unanswered questions about the future, experience has shown that with every exploitation process, the results obtained on attacking the networks are better, the capture of insurgents is higher, and periods of reduced threat in certain areas are increased. Without exploitation, the threat is ever present, and although defeat the device units are able to respond to such threats, they are unable to fully dismantle the networks that will continue to be active and to conduct new and more powerful operations against our forces. Almost 25 per cent of the IEDs in Afghanistan are unknown, and while there are many reasons for this, one is certainly the lack of exploitation carried out during certain periods. It is perfectly understandable that the operational requirements in certain cases demand other requisites, however the correct mindset regarding the exploitation process must not be forgotten if better results are to be achieved in future. ■


Major Vitor Felisberto graduated from the Portuguese Military Academy in 1999. He was commissioned into the C-IED Centre of Excellence as part of the Defeat the Device Branch in July 2011. Previous roles include Platoon and Company Commander at various Portuguese army engineering units, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group Commander and Army Engineering School Instructor. He is a graduate of the Captain career course and attended the Staff course at the Portuguese Armed Forces General Staff School in 2009. Additional courses include CBRN, EOD at the Spanish EOD School, Combat Engineer, Surveillance and Counter Surveillance. His operational assignments include FYROM, Angola and Lebanon twice. He has been awarded with various national and international honour medals. He is married to Sonia and has one son.



CALLING ON A BLACK BOX TO HELP SOLVE THE FORENSIC JIGSAW PUZZLE By Dinesh HC Rempling, Technical Project Officer R&T, European Defence Agency; Jim Blackburn, Assistant Capability Manager and Project Officer C-IED, European Defence Agency; Enrique Martin Romero, Project Manager, E&Q Engineering; Javier Fuentes, Technical Manager, E&Q Engineering

In the midst of the moments when an improvised explosive device (IED) goes off, there is a lot to be learnt that can help prevent future IED-related tragedies. To date, obtaining this sort of information has relied on eyewitnesses, and where possible post-blast analysis which may involve forensic techniques. In recent years, however, several armed forces inside and outside Europe have been looking to enhance the reconstruction of the scene of an incident. The idea is to draw on established aviation incident and accident investigation mechanisms and make use of the socalled analogue ‘black boxes’ to record key information to help provide a better and more complete picture of what happened. These processes may enhance the counter-IED (C-IED) exploitation activities and outputs, especially those related to law enforcement and legal procedures, intelligence and force protection.


With exploitation having been identified as one of the top C-IED priorities within

European Defence Agency (EDA) Member States, a significant amount of work has gone into enhancing Level 2 capabilities. The development of a forensic laboratory demonstrator, and its subsequent deployment to Afghanistan under French lead as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), marked an important milestone in EDA achievements. Operational since autumn of 2011, this capability took 18 months to put in place following the ministerial green light in April 2010. Following on this success, the focus of recent EDA exploitation efforts has been on Level 1. Being able to gather evidence at the scene of an incident is not always an easy task. Compared to a regular crime scene at home, time is often a luxury that is not affordable. Firstly, being in a high-threat environment implies that first responders to an incident have to act cautiously – there is a risk that the adversaries may strike again, for example through secondary devices or snipers. Time is a significant factor; IED attacks are often in territory controlled by the adversary where longer troop



Results (trajectory reconstruction).

presence invites further attack, and this can result in the loss of valuable information. Any means that can help enhance information gathering at Level 1 is therefore a valuable asset in the exploitation process.



Going a step further, knowing the exact details of what actually transpired during an incident along with physical evidence provides a fairly complete picture for postprocessing. If the details can be recorded in an accurate manner leaving room only for a single objective interpretation, this becomes a powerful tool – more than just a black box, and a weapon in its own right. • Intelligence – some information may only be present just before an incident, and being able to capture this will enable forensic analysis for intelligence purposes • Judicial process – if evidential purity is maintained, information gathered can be used as evidence in a court of law • Design – understanding the actual impact of IEDs during incidents can help improve the safety and survivability feature of designs • R&T – some of the circumstances related to an IED incident can be too difficult and too expensive to be reproduced in a controlled scenario (ie, dynamic conditions), so the data retrieved during the blast event can be valuable for scientific and technical knowledge enhancement. Several countries both inside and outside of Europe are working on technologically enhancing the snapshot of an incident. As an umbrella for the 26 European Union (EU) Member States, EDA’s approach is not focusing on the device itself, but rather on the enabling


Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

infrastructure. With this as the driver, a study titled ‘IED Forensics (IED-F)’ was launched in February 2012. Contracted to a Spanish consortium led by E&Q Engineering,1 the project had three main themes: • Mapping the state-of-the-art in event data recorders (EDRs) • Establishing a common architecture for recording and relaying information. • Demonstrating the principle of recording explosive event key data while emulating the conditions of an incident. Concluded in September 2012, the study provides a solid base for EDA Member States to be able to take the necessary next steps to implement the concept.


The purpose of an EDR is to record a set of predefined parameters over time so that in the event of an incident, the recordings can be revisited in order to better understand what led to it. Probably the most well-known is the type used in aviation. Consisting of two main elements, the flight data recorder gathers data on the aircraft status – eg altitude, speed and ambient temperature – while the cockpit voice recorder captures conversations between those piloting the aircraft. The concept dates back to the 1960s and has since been a legal requirement and integral to accident investigations. Shipping has also seen a long-standing presence of voyage data recorders, which are based on the same principles as those used for aviation. Rail, too, utilises these sorts of devices. Although initially driven by the need of owners to get an overview of the status from a maintenance point of view, today they include provisions to facilitate accident investigations. They are also increasingly becoming a feature of family cars.


Building on these established systems, the contractor has defined an EDR concept for military applications. Although revolving around the IED, the defined concept can be expanded further to address events with any kind of threats. The incident data recorder (IDR) concept,


if used in the context of conventional C-IED exploitation, can contribute to gaining information including: • details on the IED itself, including its explosives contents • damage evolution and impact • enhanced audio and visual situational information. The IDR concept is centred on the establishment of a Common Architecture for Data Recording and Relay for Forensic Exploitation (CADARRFE), with a clear focus on modularity and scalability. CADARRFE consists of a deployable system and an analysis system. The Deployable system acquires the data and is divided into five different subsystems: • system core • sensors • storage • communication • power. The Analysis system processes the raw data once extracted from the scene of the incident for further exploitation. Software-based, it encompasses: • advanced signal processing • multimedia management • incident characterisation • scene reconstruction. Moreover, the architectural design of the analysis system is intended to facilitate (by means of a data access interface) the development of new data analysis techniques or innovative forensic methods. The IED-F study has also addressed the technical challenges associated with design and implementation by producing a generic technical specification. The specification takes into account both retrofitting existing vehicles with IDRs, and implementing them into new-builds. In addition to aspects such as operational availability, ruggedness and endurance, it also states the minimum parameters that need to be recorded and at what quality. The aim is an affordable solution that can see widespread implementation across vehicle fleets in armed forces.


To demonstrate the potential of the IDR, the contractor carried out three live demonstrations in September

2012. Each consisted of a vehicle being subjected to an emulation of an IED incident using plastic explosives. A single IDR prototype was specially designed for use in all demonstrations and recorded a number of different parameters, including accelerations in different directions and pressure propagation. As was shown during one of the demonstrations, the prototype has three different ways to extract data: wired, wireless and/or using the internal memory card. A realtime monitoring and data retrieval after the incident was witnessed by EDA Member States experts. Following postprocessing by the contractor, a report was compiled from all three demonstrations, exemplifying what kind of information and conclusions can be drawn from the analysis phase.


Over the course of seven months, the IED-F study has produced the foundation for what can become a standardised European IDR concept. The IDR offers the opportunity to gather valuable information, not only from the scene of an incident, but also from the actual moments when it takes place. The recorded information can be used in the quest for ‘defeating the network’ while enabling evidential purity to be maintained for use in the judicial processes. Recorded information can further help understand the impact of attacks and thus support development of better equipment that better mitigates the hazardous effects. Although the study focuses on IEDs, the IDR concept is generic and thus can be used irrespective of threat type. EDA’s Member States are currently in the process of digesting the study’s output and recommendations. The ambition is to gather together the EDA forensic expert community in early 2013 to address how to take this work further. ■

High-level architecture.


NOTE 1. E&Q Engineering is a Spanish SME leading a consortium with fellow-countrymen ISDEFE (in charge of state of the art block). E&Q sub-contracted services of the Spanish La Maranosa Technological Institute (ITM) and BLU from Italy, and also had the collaboration of the Spanish National Police, all of them related to the demonstration activities block.



ABOUT THE AUTHORS Dinesh HC Rempling has been with the European Defence Agency (EDA) since 2008. As Technical Project Officer at the Research and Technology Directorate (R&T), he has the R&T responsibility for three areas. As the moderator of the forum for Energetics, Missiles and Munitions he is responsible for launching multinational collaborative projects and establishing and maintaining the Strategic Research Agenda for the area. Within C-IED he has mainly focused on detection – focusing on a systems engineering approach to deliver systems for IED detection – and exploitation – where he was heavily involved in the development and deployment of the first European C-IED Level 2 forensics exploitation laboratory. He is also the driver of Military Green, developing a comprehensive approach to mitigating adverse effects to the environment in the context of defence and crisis management. Between 2001 and 2008 he worked for the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) at the Naval Procurement Command in Stockholm where he was co-responsible for the area Marine Electrical Systems for surface- and submersible crafts. This also included being the Swedish representative in NATO and Western European Armament Group forums, and in 2006 he was appointed Government Expert for Energy and Propulsion within the EDA framework. He holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm.

Jim Blackburn is the Project Officer taking the lead in the European Defence Agency (EDA) for Countering IEDs and CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear) EOD. He is an ex-British Army Officer who retired in 2007 to take up his current appointment. An expert in C-IED, he spent most of his 21 years of military service in ammunition and explosive related appointments, although he has a broad range of experience. He has worked in the UK and Germany, and has operational experience in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as commanding the EOD Squadron in the UK covering Southeast England and responsible for the civil authorities for IEDD, EOD and CBRN response. An Ammunition Technical Officer, he has a deep understanding of explosives and ammunition from first principles. In his current post he not only coordinates the EDA C-IED activity, but also acts as a subject matter expert advising and supporting other EU Agencies when required. He has been instrumental in catalysing C-IED capability development across the EU in the areas of search manual neutralisation, route clearance and exploitation, and was the Project Lead for the EDA Level 2 forensics exploitation lab, which deployed to Afghanistan under a French lead in the middle of the year. Jim has a Bachelor’s degree in IT and a Masters degree in Explosives Ordnance Engineering. He is married with four children.

Enrique Martín Romero graduated as an aeronautical engineer from Madrid Polytechnic University, and is CEO of E&Q Engineering. Related to his technical background on explosives and munitions, he has led several national and international projects, and is a subject matter expert member of the C-IED Spanish National Program team, the C-IED Initiative of CNAD Defense Against Terrorism (NATO) and EG C-IED Detection (EDA). He is a lecturer on explosives and munitions for the Spanish Army, academia and police forces.

Javier Fuentes Ibáñez is a telecommunications engineer and senior consultant at E&Q Engineering. He has specialist knowledge in the development of R&T projects, particularly in the areas of security and defence (Spanish MoD, NATO, EDA). He has a background in electronics and communications, and an MSc in telecommunications engineering. His key skills include: expert in technological foresight and assessment; requirement analysis for military systems; design and development of electronic equipment and advanced signal processing for distributed systems.


Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012


IED THREAT INFORMATION SHARING CIVIL-MILITARY CHALLENGES IN CONFLICT ENVIRONMENTS By Edith Wilkinson and Rob Hyde-Bales, Centre for International Security and Resilience (CISR), Cranfield University, UK

Photo above: Afghan IED Training.

The improvised explosive device (IED) will continue as the weapon of choice among insurgent and terrorist groups across the globe due to the ready accessibility of inexpensive constituent materials and the potential strategic impact resulting from their use. Despite technical and procedural advances in defeating the devices, they continue to exact a relentless and deadly toll among both the military and civilian communities – most notably in Afghanistan and Iraq. Instances of the pervasive impact of IEDs are all too common. As recently as 9 July 2012 it was confirmed that six US soldiers had died in Afghanistan following an IED strike. The same day, another NATO soldier was also killed in a separate incident1 – a total of seven deaths in a single day. Insurgents, ever mindful of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) supremacy in conventional kinetic operations in Afghanistan, tend to favour this classic weapon of guerrilla warfare. Earlier this year, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan

(UNAMA) reported that in 2011, IEDs caused the deaths of 967 civilians and that, overall, civilian deaths in the conflict have increased year on year, with 2011 seeing the heaviest death toll since 2006.2 In its previous annual report, UNAMA had noted that ‘even where targets were legitimate military objects, such as military installations and combatants, these attacks and tactics often disproportionately harmed civilians. ... Many attacks were carried out in civilian areas where the military target was not clear or it was unknown. IEDs and suicide attacks in particular were carried out in areas such as bazaars, commercial areas or alongside roads busy with civilian traffic.’3 It is not well understood whether the broadening use of IEDs reflects an unwillingness or inability by insurgents to discriminate between civilian, nongovernmental organisation (NGO) and military targets. In a significant study examining the tactics of the violence against aid workers, Stoddard et al





Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

suggest that aid work is increasingly dangerous,4 and, further, that ‘it is reasonable to conclude that the increase in violence against aid workers seen during [recent years] is at least partly politically oriented.’5 This paper addresses the issue of information sharing between international organisations (IOs), NGOs and the military. In particular it focuses on information relating to the security of field staff, with a focus on the IED threat.


Today’s IEDs are relatively simple ‘lowtech’ devices that routinely use commandwire, victim-operated or radio-controlled triggers. Many of the components are readily available, have legitimate commercial uses, and are easily adaptable as parts of IEDs: for example, circuit boards, cell phones, and simple electronic transmitters and receivers. Homemade explosives, often composed of commercially available fertilisers, easily transportable and convertible to greater-than-TNT explosive power, are predominant in IEDs, and have been routinely employed against military and civilian targets.6 The rudimentary nature of basic IED technology simplifies design and construction techniques, which can be easily communicated via the Internet. However, in current areas of conflict, more sophisticated devices, particularly explosively formed projectiles and advanced triggers, have caused disproportionate levels of casualties relative to the numbers employed.7 In Afghanistan, the majority of IEDs are pressure activated and many, unlike in Iraq, are emplaced subsurface due to the fact that the majority of Afghan roads are non-metalled. In addition, IEDs are highly effective because of the innovative ways in which the adversary continues to employ them. They are assembled with no or low amounts of metal components and can be concealed in inconspicuous ways, for example buried in the ground, walls, wood or other debris, or even dead animals at road sides. Perhaps the most challenging argument to explain the pervasive IED threat, in particular against non-military targets,

relates to the fact that governments of the Western world have increasingly adopted approaches to join up their aid, political and military agendas. A study by Vaux et al even goes as far as stating that ‘today an increasing emphasis on human rights and advocacy by aid agencies has put them on a collision course with armed combatants. Consequently, politically active aid agencies cannot expect to enjoy the level of security derived from neutrality and detachment that they experienced in the past.’8


A key component in the counter-IED (C-IED) arsenal for both military and civilian responses in hazardous areas is timely, accurate, reliable and actionable information. Part of this information can usually be found within either the military or civilian communities. Modern IT and communications systems are able to facilitate its rapid dissemination. However, sharing this critical information between the communities is still often adhoc and inconsistent, and constrained by barriers that include security classification, trust, cultural differences, language and differing modus operandi. The interoperability of IT systems can also be an issue, though by and large information can be shared technically if there is the will to do so. Too often this information sharing is still undertaken on an informal basis which is overly dependent on local and potentially ephemeral informal arrangements. From the military perspective, the C-IED process drives information requirements. This process consists of a number of phases during which the military or other organisations in charge of C-IED operations will seek to deter, predict, prevent, detect, neutralise and mitigate against IEDs. The phases of this model neither fit neatly together nor follow an exact sequence, and potentially overlap, thus it can be difficult to know precisely in which phase a particular activity is assigned. Information useful to the military will include enemy tactics, techniques and procedures, date-time group of incident, type of device, location and the insurgent modus operandi of past incidents, choice of targets and other analysis informing C-IED experts on the IED supply chain


prior to the point of detonation or ‘left of boom’. Technical and forensics information is required following detonation (or on the discovery of a find) and is gathered by examining the type of device, its emplacement, the method of detonation, safe route to the device and any collateral damage. This weapons technical intelligence information will in turn inform IED countermeasures. In this article, ‘information sharing’ refers to the sharing of unclassified IED threat information and not that of weapons technical intelligence that perforce tends to be necessarily highly classified. Some aid agencies’ mandates cause them to deploy in the field of humanitarian operations for very long periods. Some relief agencies will focus on the humanitarian emergency and tend to have shorter stays in countries of operations. Conversely, agencies engaged in development will tend to settle in countries for years if not decades. The breadth and nature of information gathered and available to the development agencies will reflect their longstanding presence and integration in the country. This allows them to accumulate knowledge of the human terrain, the operational context and consequently of the current security issues. On the other hand, these agencies may require information to inform decisions on where existing resources should be directed, based on the urgency and severity of humanitarian needs balanced against the duty of care to keep staff secure. Accordingly, current information on threats, such as crime, terror attacks and combat or military activity, historical threats indicating past incidences or patterns of attacks on similar organisations, types of weapons employed, and the intent and capability of threatening organisations, may prove to be useful to their decisionmaking process. In fact, the Christian Aid Survey corroborates this by noting that ‘information exchange relating to incidents, potential threats, operational space, joint assessments, training opportunities and best practices was vital for their own planning as well as for working together with local partners’.9 Sir John Holmes, Emergency Relief Coordinator and United Nations UnderSecretary General for Humanitarian

Affairs, summarises in noting that ‘coordination between civilian and military actors is essential during an emergency response. The increasing number and scale of humanitarian emergencies, in both natural disaster and conflict settings, has led to more situations where military forces and civilian relief agencies are operating in the same environment’.10


When examining the impediments to effective information sharing between military and civilian organisations – IOs, NGOs and commercial entities – several recurring themes become apparent.

▪ Principles, Stereotypes and Politics

As pointed out in a Harvard University authored Policy Brief on Designing Security: ‘Humanitarian aid organisations have traditionally delivered aid to beneficiaries based on the principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence. However, in the Post-Cold War world, these organisations have been involved increasingly in the post-conflict peace building process, an inherently political process that some suggest negates claims to neutrality and independence.’11 For example, in theatres such as Iraq and Afghanistan, ‘the NGO community debated with some passion the moral and ethical dilemmas of following US troops into war zones when the conflicts were considered “wars of choice”. Some were willing to go to Iraq if there was a humanitarian need; others found the situation highly problematic and preferred to focus on needy countries elsewhere, where the politics were easier to handle.’12 Similarly, ‘some NGOs also take on explicitly political functions, challenging governments and international organisations when they fail to respond to a crisis and rallying citizens internationally in support of specific policies or initiatives’.13 Adding to the complexity of the operational environment is the fact that private security companies are assuming greater prominence in modern conflict and are also called on to assist in ensuring the security of IO and NGO field staff. This trend has, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), led to ‘the privatization of war’, and such ‘services can blur an




UN vehicle incident.


Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

organisation’s image, with confusion in the minds of the belligerents, who might well be trying to distinguish between combatants and civilians, in particular humanitarian organisations’.14 Thus political boundaries seem to be increasingly blurred; it is therefore not surprising that local populations are not always able to distinguish easily between the various actors in the field. There appears to have been an increase in ‘high-profile direct attacks against aid agencies, such as the ambush of a UN guesthouse in KabuI on 28 October 2009, the assault on the office of the international development charity Plan International in Mansehra in February 2008, and the killings of 17 Action Contre la Faim employees in Muttur, Sri Lanka, in 2006’.15 The so-called ‘War on Terror’ further complicated the capacity of NGOs to maintain their independence and neutrality.16 The whole issue of NGO neutrality was brought into sharp focus on the occasion of the vehicle-

borne IED attack on the UN Headquarters in Iraq on 20 August 2003. This resulted in the death of the UN special representative in Iraq and other UN staff, the subsequent withdrawal of 600 UN staff from the country, and the virtual cessation of UN activity in Iraq. In this instance, the UN flag offered no protection whatsoever – quite the reverse. While empirical evidence on targeted violence on humanitarian aid worker deaths remains patchy, efforts are being conducted by the IOs and NGOs to collect reports on issues of field safety and security. The humanitarian community takes these concerns seriously, as ultimately, security incidents may be seen to undermine the operational efficiency and effectiveness of donor funding. Van Brabant explains that the gathering of safety and security statistics and their analysis and interpretation is critical to the management of safety and security.17 Incident statistics will help to provide: incident patterns (types and nature of incidents and their geographical distribution); the motive (in particular who are the perpetrators and the targets and why); the incident impacts (what are the impacts and costs of incidents for the agency, its operational partners and its programme); the safety and security management performance (can the number of incidents and their impacts be reduced and what might be the cost– benefit balance for investments in safety and security).

▪ Security classification and information management practices

One of the key barriers to effective information sharing within and between military and civilian organisations remains that of sensitivity over information classification. From the military perspective, frustration with shortfalls in information sharing has been


clearly manifest in the past: ‘Information is firewalled by bureaucracy. People are unable to get the information they need because of bureaucratic obstacles. By contrast information flows freely among Iraq’s insurgents. Op-sec bureaucrats and over classification prevent information getting to the troops when they need it.’18 Taking the UK as an example, one of the fundamental barriers to effective information sharing between its military and civilian organisations is assessed as that of over-classification of information on the part of the military. There is little doubt that this over-classification also often creates barriers within the UK military itself, and also between the UK military and the military forces of other nations, by inhibiting information sharing. This tends to be even more the case where civilian organisations are involved. While it is fully understandable that military operational security must be maintained in an effective manner, this need must be balanced against the requirement for effective communications with other organisations – both military and civilian. The study led by Christian Aid brought attention to the reactive nature of the security arrangements of some humanitarian agencies.19 Partly due to underlying complacency about threats in periods of relative calm, some agencies have neglected aspects of security such as the dedication of resources (budgets and people) or the definition of roles and responsibilities for the implementation of security standards and procedures. Further, this lack of dedicated resources has led to an absence of trained security professionals who have the competence to implement coherent security management at all levels. Although, there has been a ‘drive towards resourcing organisations with skilled professionals to manage and advise on security issues, field officers are often tasked with this on top of other responsibilities and are not always appropriately skilled’.20 In addition, there must be an overall coherence within organisations of their perspective on risk, so that at the local level security is perceived in the same way as at headquarters. Corollary to this is the fact that local or national partners who are assuming increasingly prominent roles in aid delivery have not always benefited from the necessary

support for the adequate management of security. The Christian Aid survey suggests that further work must be done to involve these national organisations more in security collaboration.

▪ Trust and cultural differences

Another barrier stems from the strong desire of humanitarian organisations to maintain their autonomy. Security can be perceived very differently between the military and civil organisations. For some NGOs, adhering to security standards (such as the MOSS standards developed by the UN, or the Sphere Project) or engaging in security coordination is felt to exacerbate fears about the agency’s autonomy or add superfluous cost to an already tightly budgeted activity. Equally, the capacity of some organisations to understand and deal with information security concerns appears to be very disparate, and hence raises the question of trust as a key inhibiting factor in the exchange of information between military and civilian organisations. For instance, Bolletino explains that: ‘Mines awareness, radio training, hostage taking training, and so forth, all figure prominently in the first approach and are commonly included in NGO and UN staff training programs. … While important for staff security, these training courses should also address more strategic issues like duty of care to staff and accountability that are more properly security management issues. Another limitation of NGO and UN security training is that international staff members are disproportionately the beneficiaries of these training courses even though duty stations in some of the more insecure environments are often run by national staff.’21 In Afghanistan, this problem has been exacerbated by well-founded concerns regarding the reliability of elements of the indigenous security forces. Trust is a shared belief that organisations can depend on each other to achieve a common purpose, and creates confidence between ‘partners’ that actions taken will serve all parties’ interests. A number of civilian organisations perceive the military as potentially inhibiting or compromising their activities in the light of the so–called War on Terror, post-9/11. NGOs frequently operate in countries where the behaviour and conduct of the military definitely does




not engender trust or confidence. The following quote from an EC publication encapsulates this point of view:

to move on from the old Cold War, from ‘the need to know’ philosophy to ‘the need to share’.23

"Further challenges have emerged as a result of the so-called ‘War on Terror’. Globally, there appears to be a greater threat of violence and terrorist attacks against humanitarian personnel, or agency staff getting caught up in attacks against other international actors in the same environment. Where there have been recent military interventions by the international community, such as in Afghanistan and Iraq, these actions have had serious implications for ‘humanitarian space’ and how agencies are perceived. The perception of humanitarian agencies has often been severely compromised by the lack of clear separation between humanitarian and military activities, placing them at additional risk. This is especially the case where aid, reconstruction and development projects have been linked closely to political and military agendas.22

▪ Promote better civil-military co-operation: telecommunications and networks




Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

There are clear benefits, to both military and civilian organisations, to be gained from effective IED threat information sharing. From the military perspective, civilian organisations tend to spend longer in hazardous areas than do the military, who are normally in a military rotation mode and maybe in a country for no more than six months. This is very understandable from the military welfare perspective, but does inhibit the knowledge of the human terrain in country. The civilian organisations will normally have a larger geographic footprint of operations than the military, who tend to focus on specific operational areas. This is very much the case with ISAF in Afghanistan. The military also have a duty of care to those civilian organisations working in their areas of responsibility. From the civilian perspective, the military should be able to provide them with comprehensive and accurate information on their areas of operational responsibility. They should also be in a position to advise on insurgent trends and, most importantly, on particular areas to be avoided. In the case of IED threat information, we need

Laipson notes that often information flows work better ‘in the field than they do in capitals and at headquarters. Need is a great motivator to help people focus on their specific information requirements. But information “systems” in the field tend to be informal, personality-dependent, and not organised in a way that can easily be shared with parent organisations, governments, or other NGOs.’24 Within the UK military, Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) staff are responsible for the relationship of mutual support, joint planning and constant exchange of information required at all levels between military force structures and humanitarian organisations and agencies operating towards common objectives in response to a humanitarian emergency. The UK military guide to CIMIC underlines the importance of effective communications between the military and civilian organisations.25 Effective communication with civil actors is vital to maintain consent and generate understanding and cooperation. The establishment of special facilities to meet this requirement needs to be considered carefully. There is a balance to be struck between accessibility, force protection and operational security. The previously cited Christian Aid report also highlights that it is important that organisations gear efforts to better headquarters field communication and more clearly defined guidelines for implementation and participation in the process.26 Interagency security fora and networks should be developed to ensure broader reach to their membership bases, including smaller and national organisations, through communication and inclusion strategies. There is a clear leadership role for the UN, which, to date, has not been effectively executed. The UN needs to devise clearer guidance mechanisms for the implementation of Saving Lives Together (SLT) in order to avoid further confusion over roles and responsibilities.27 This implementation strategy should be jointly agreed with


key NGO security fora to achieve better coordination and collaboration at a local level. Dedicated resources for security management, both staff and funding, will need to be earmarked and provided by organisations. Donors should correspondingly encourage the systematic incorporation of security into NGO programme budgets, and provide funding for posts to coordinate security in the field as well as for independent information-coordination mechanisms for environments identified as sensitive.28 In this sense, any formal interagency setup around security information may be construed as ‘intelligence gathering’. Clearly, the need for confidentiality and trust is even greater in a context of conflict. Yet an aid agency’s own security management and that of other aid agencies will inevitably benefit from a more complete picture of the threats and incidents and, if applicable, their non-resolution. Rather than not sharing any information, agencies may want to do it face to face in informal meetings. Whereas these, and perhaps other, reservations are pertinent, the obstacle in many situations is not so much contextual, but a problematic culture of ‘secrecy’ in aid agencies with regard to security information. This is dangerous. Failing to alert others to a serious identified threat or to an incident that has taken place or has narrowly been avoided can put other people at risk. The advantage of improved collective management of security information is the potential for incident mapping and pattern/trend analysis, as a useful tool for initial and ongoing threat and risk analysis. Such analytical work is not possible unless there is good and fairly detailed reporting of many, if not most, incidents.

▪ Develop language and systems interoperability

There is a requirement for greater standardisation in information sharing. Such standardisation should consider areas including information management/ information exchange technology, georeferenced information and standardised reporting templates. Ideally, information exchange depends on organisations agreeing to a common format or data model. However, experience has shown that such models are complex, require applications software to support them, and

are unlikely to be adopted by all members of the diverse organisations needing to exchange information – particularly civilian organisations. In reality, the majority of civilian organisations use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) applications, and experience shows that this meets their needs.29 A report emanating from the NGO sphere provides a valuable conclusion: ‘In the past, organisations have been wary about sharing information with others, partly for fear that it compromises their own security contacts, but also because of the general tendency to protect information for their own. That said, there have been some important shifts in recent years along with a more nuanced understanding that, given the significant inter-dependence with regard to security in any operational environment, collaboration on security issues is in everybody’s best interest.’30 In the final analysis, it is true, as Laipson notes, that ‘information-sharing is part of a larger story – of the rise of NGOs and their growing competence; of the need for a reform of intelligence culture, so that government analysts are rewarded for integrating all available source material into their work and engaging with nongovernment experts; and of globalization, where agile partnerships between formal state structures and civil society are constantly emerging.’31 There will be difficulties along the road to genuine cooperation between the military and civilian organisations in conflict environments, but the vision of

Pakistan NGO safety training.



a future which encapsulates sharing of resources, increased professionalisation of security management practitioners, and joint training among the diverse organisations delivering aid should help define the way forward. ■

For more information please contact: Edith Wilkinson at

publications/talks-seminars-and-careersfairs/diary-of-careers-events.cfm. 11. V Bolletino, ‘Designing Security: Methods for




Practices and Security Coordination Among Humanitarian Organisations’, Policy Brief, Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict

12. E Laipson, ‘Can the USG and NGOs Do More? Information-Sharing in Conflict Zones’, CIA Studies in Intelligence, 2007:



Afghanistan.html, accessed 11 July 2012.





USG_NGOs_5.htm#author, accessed

Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict’,

1 August 2012.

prepared by the Human Rights Unit of

13. Christian Aid, op cit.

the United Nations Assistance Mission in

14. DL Roberts, ‘Staying Alive: Safety and

Afghanistan (UNAMA Human Rights) with


the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights

Volunteers in Conflict Areas’, ICRC, Geneva,

February 2012.




revised edition, 2005. 15. Christian Aid, op cit.

3. ‘Afghanistan: Annual Report 2010 – Protection

16. Bolletino, op cit.

of Civilians in Armed Conflict’, prepared

17. K Van Brabant, ‘Incident Statistics in Aid

by the Human Rights Unit of the United

Worker Safety and Security Management:

Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

Using and Producing Them’, European

(UNAMA Human Rights) with the Afghanistan

Interagency Security Forum (EISF), 2012.

Independent Human Rights Commission

18. US Defense News TechWatch, 28 January

(AIHRC), Kabul, Afghanistan, March 2011.

2008, Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli, US

A Stoddard et al, ‘Providing Aid in Insecure Environments:





Army. 19. Christian Aid, op cit.

Violence Against Aid Workers and the

20. Ibid.

Operational Response’, HPG Policy Brief 34,

21. Bolletino, op cit.

April 2009, Overseas Development Institute,

22. S Bickley on behalf of The Evaluation



5. A Stoddard and A Harmer, ‘Supporting Security for Humanitarian Action: A Review of Critical Issues for the Humanitarian Community’,






Collaboration Guide’, 2006: resources/item.asp?d=2081. 23. Edith






‘How Can Information Sharing between

the UK Military and Civilian Organisations



accessed 11 July 2012.

International, Summer 2012.

6. ‘Counter-IED Strategic Plan 2012–2016’, Joint IED Defeat Organisation (JIEDDO), US, January 2012.




24. Laipson, op cit. 25. MOD, Joint Doctrine Publication 3-90 ‘Civil- Military Co-operation’, April 2006.

7. Ibid.

26. Christian Aid, op cit.

8. T Vaux, C Seiple, G Nakano and K Van

27. In 2006, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee

Brabant, ‘Humanitarian Action and Private

Taskforce on Collaborative Approaches to

Security Companies: Opening the Debate’,

Security launched Saving Lives Together

Research Paper, International Alert, London,

(SLT): A Framework for Improving Security


Arrangements among IGOs, NGOs and the

9. Christian Aid, ‘Saving Lives Together: A

UN in the Field.

Review of Security Collaboration Between

28. Christian Aid, op cit.

the United Nations and Humanitarian Actors

29. Wilkinson and Hyde-Bales, op cit.

on the Ground’, June 2010.

30. Stoddard and Harmer, op cit.

10. ‘Working with the Military: Humanitarian

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

Commission (AIHRC), Kabul, Afghanistan,




2. ‘Afghanistan:



MA, 2006.

‘US Soldiers Killed by Roadside Bomb in Afghanistan’:

from Afghanistan’,

Speaker Series, 31 March 2011: www.

Research, Harvard University, Cambridge,



31. Laipson, op cit.




Financial crises in the Eurozone, uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, ever-present threats of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and intense competition for natural resources all serve to illustrate the complex links between national, regional and international security. Understanding and responding to complex security situations requires an interdisciplinary approach, which is the hallmark of the work of the Centre for International Security and Resilience (CISR) at Cranfield University. The Centre provides postgraduate education and training, applied research, and consultancy services in security and resilience to enable the development of more secure and resilient societies. It consists of a unique blend of academics and practitioners committed to innovation and tackling the real-world challenges currently facing society. Cranfield University is a pre-eminent European institution in teaching and research in the fields of defence, security, technology and management. It is the key training provider to the UK Ministry of Defence, for whom it delivers a range of accredited programmes, from short courses through to postgraduate degrees and diplomas. Each year, around 20,000 students attend the University’s courses at its two campuses in the UK, and at other locations worldwide. Staff within the Centre have global reach and impact, having delivered consultancy projects in the UK and in over 30 countries worldwide for a wide range of customers. The content of programmes is informed by the academic research base of the Centre, and is structured to attract both professionals and graduates, and enable them to study in conjunction with their employment either on a part-time or full-time basis. The Centre offers two MSc programmes and a wide range of scheduled and bespoke short courses:


The MSc in Resilience provides policymakers and practitioners with the leadership, management and technical skills needed to prepare for, avoid and recover from crises and disruptive challenges more effectively. The course provides enhanced understanding of resilience and its context, as well as individual capabilities that will assist professionals and graduates in confronting the security challenges they face. The elective modules allow students to explore areas of particular interest and relevance to both the public and private sector.


The MSc in International Defence and Security addresses some of the most pressing issues of world politics, such as the causes of war and peace, pressures and opportunities of globalisation, threats posed by terrorism, and the problems of global poverty and injustice. Drawing upon the Centre’s established expertise in international security, policy analysis, security studies, international law and conflict resolution, the degree provides individuals with the skills and competencies to understand and authoritatively analyse contemporary security debates.


The MSc courses are complemented by a range of Masters-level, credit-rated and standalone short courses relating to security, resilience, crisis, disaster and risk management. Short courses are conducted at either the Cranfield University Shrivenham campus or at other suitable locations of customer choice. ■



Mobile Training Team (MTT) delivery in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

NATO EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN THE GLOBAL C-IED EFFORT By Major Alexander Hugyár (SVK A), Head of the NATO Explosive Ordnance Disposal Centre of Excellence (NATO EOD COE) Training Branch

Diagram of C-IED areas of activity at the operational and tactical levels. 24

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

Series of incidents caused by explosive devices reflect the escalation of a political situation or conflict, or dissatisfaction of militant and terrorist groups with governmental, economic and religious domination. Everyday occurrences of bomb attacks targeting military personnel, civilians and values all over the world illustrate the effects of such devices. Preventing the resulting loss of life requires countering Explosive

Ordnance (EO), which is why the CIED ‘Prepare the Force’ pillar, and other C-IED pillars, have become part of the NATO Explosive Ordnance Disposal Centre of Excellence (NATO EOD COE) mission (see diagram below). Deployed EOD units must reflect the posed risk and threat in their area of responsibility (AOR). The NATO EOD COE is working to identify shortfalls in EOD education and individual


training, and responding by delivering tailored education to the NATO and PfP (Partnership for Peace) community, focusing mainly on the ‘Defeat the Device’ pillar. The NATO EOD COE provides training and courses for a wide range of professionals in the EOD field. It currently offers Initial Explosive Ordnance Disposal Staff Officer Training (I EOD SOT), the Former Warsaw Pact Ammunition Course (FWP AC), the Homemade Explosive Awareness Course (HME AC) and the Ammunition Risk EOD Management Course (AREMC). Each course supports forces preparation and also furthers implementation of the NATO standardisation effort.


The aim of the I EOD SOT course is to train staff officers at the tactical and operational level in accordance with the S–2389 ‘Minimum Standards on Proficiency for EOD Personnel’ Annex F. The Programme of Instructions (POI) introduces officers to the areas of planning, command/control and coordination of EOD/IEDD operations on multinational deployment. Training duration is two weeks, including theory and three days’ practical experience in EOD staff officer duties. The training focuses on the dissemination of interoperability learnt from ATP-72 (A) ‘Interservice Explosive Ordnance Disposal Operations on Multinational

Deployments’. In addition to the lessons, attendees are familiarised with the related disciplines as well as with the C-IED principles described in the ‘Allied Joint Doctrine for Countering Improvised Explosive Devices’ publication AJP 3.15 (B). The NATO EOD COE has so far carried out four training runs: the first in May 2011, the second (a Mobile Training Team (MTT) in Bosnia and Herzegovina) in November 2011, the third in May 2012 and the fourth in October 2012. More than 40 officers from 10 NATO and two PfP countries (Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina) have attended the I EOD SOT.

The aftermath of an IED attack.

Former Warsaw Pact Ammunition Course (FWP AC), February 2012.




Homemade Explosives (HME) precursors storage.


The NATO EOD COE is literally chasing after the gaps via its training needs analysis (TNA). In response to customer demand, the training branch built up the FWP AC basic module. The course deals with the hazard posed by conventional munitions in International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) areas of operation where detailed information on construction, marking and functionality is crucial. This potential hazard is an explosive remnant of war (ERW) that can be misused by bomb makers for constructing IEDs. The five-day course is targeted mainly at EOD and ammunition technician personnel. The first run of the course took place from the 20–24 February 2012, during which 12 attendees from five NATO countries (Belgium, Canada, Estonia, Slovenia and Slovakia gained basic knowledge of small-calibre ammunition, grenades, artillery projectiles, rockets and missiles. The next run of the FWP AC will be held from 19 November till 23 November 2012. After internal valuation of the course, which reflects trade proficiency, the NATO EOD COE is to increase the technical information load in the artillery ammunition module (2013) and the combined rockets and missiles module (2014). 26

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

Most IEDs are homemade explosives (HMEs). In order to counter IED terrorist activities, coalition forces must systematically monitor the sale, transportation and record-free circulation of the components used to construct such devices. The three education levels in this area are targeted at different personnel. The first is an Awareness level of training devoted to first responders, combat patrols, general search teams and private-sector personnel. These are trained individuals who are likely to observe the sale of HME precursors or discover HME or precursor chemicals in illicit manufacturing situations, and who have been trained to initiate an emergency response sequence by notifying the proper authorities. The second level of HME training is Operations, which is aimed at individuals who are part of the initial response to HME incidents for the purpose of protecting the public, processing evidence, or rendering safe and disposing of HME or precursor materials. They are trained to respond and perform their official tasks in the vicinity of HME or precursor materials in a safe manner. The third, and highest, Specialist level supports the ‘Attack the Network’ C-IED pillar in gathering, analysing and evaluation of HME technical data. At the specialist level, personnel responding to HME-related incidents are expected to perform operations and provide on-site technical advice to other responders regarding illicit HME manufacturing operations. The Awareness level of the course is the first step in the HME education described here, and is designed to assist nations in providing relevant knowledge and awareness of HME to primarily non-EOD specialised personnel and possibly inexperienced EOD personnel. A graduate of this course is able to detect and identify secondary HME precursors by human senses, set up relevant safety measures and report on an incident. In cooperation with the Slovak Ammunition Testing Centre – Novaky, this course took place from 12–14 November 2012. The Operations level course is still in the preparation phase, but is due to begin in 2013.


BombTech dealing with a clandestine lab.



Effective deployment of forces requires training in several multidisciplinary areas with the goal of creating wellprepared and operationally capable units. In a multinational environment, this deserves timely and focused individual training and education, of which the NATO EOD COE contribution strives to be a part. ■

For more information about NATO EOD COE, please visit: REFERENCES NATO EOD COE Courses Portfolio: AJP 3.15 (B): ‘Allied Joint Doctrine for Countering

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Major Alexander Hugyár (SVK A), Head of the NATO EOD COE Training Branch, has served in the armed forces for 20 years in the Weaponry and Ammunition Service. He was responsible for the Slovak Armed Forces national EOD training and building of the Force Goal/EG 4229 EOD that contributes to NATO EOD/IEDD capabilities. In 2004 he was deployed to ISAF operation at KAIA as a Combat Engineer Unit Commander. Photo: NATO EOD COE Archive

Improvised Explosive Devices’. HME WG meeting, New York City, January 2012: ‘Enclosure








Husky-mounted detection system.

CURRENT AND FUTURE DETECTION TECHNOLOGIES By Lieutenant Colonel Sandor Zsiros, (HUN-A) Head of the NATO Explosive Ordnance Disposal Centre of Excellence (EOD COE) Technology Development Department

Figure 1: TM-62 anti-tank mine.


Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

More than 100 million mines have been laid in more than 70 countries all over the world, killing or maiming innocent civilians every day. Hence the need for companies and military experts to combine their knowledge to help prevent the spread of this plague. This article presents and classifies the current research into, and development of, effective intrusion detection systems, which are mainly targeted at combating landmines. The technologies discussed, from a military perspective, are designed to detect anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, and review improvised explosive device (IED) detection. The two basic types of landmine are anti-tank (see Figure 1) and antipersonnel mines. Antitank mines are the larger and more powerful of the two. However, antipersonnel mines are the mostly widely used, and are as yet very difficult to detect because they are small and often made of plastic. Anti-tank

mines generally contain more metal and are thus easier to locate using simple metal detectors. Both mines can be made of several types of material and may be buried in soil. The United Nations (UN) has specified a mine clearance standard of 99.6 per cent for humanitarian demining. However, no existing land-mine detection system meets this criterion. The reasons for this failure have as much to do with the mines themselves and the variety of environments in which they are buried as with the limits or flaws in current technology. In order to try to meet the UN requirements, a number of different mine-detection systems are being tested: • mines (explosives) detection trained animals • vehicle-mounted mine detectors • handheld mine detectors.



Figure 2: Mine searching with a trained rat. MINES (EXPLOSIVES) DETECTION BY TRAINED ANIMALS

Some animals, such as trained dogs, rats and bees, have an excellent sense of smell for detecting the explosive vapours of landmines. For example, experience using giant African pouched rats (Cricetomys gambianus – see Figure 2) as landmine detection animals in Africa has shown that they can operate at a less than 0.33 false alarm rate for every 100 square metre (1,076 square feet) searched. This is below the International Mine Action Standards threshold, and the detection rate is greater. However, using animals for mine searching has several disadvantages. There are still significant difficulties in deploying animals directly in the field, and several species are unable to cope with weather conditions and/or geographical position. Examining the mine-searching activities of animals has demonstrated that further research is required into ideal size, weight, and ability to follow commands. During military operations, it is mainly dogs that are used to discover explosives in the field. The next step in this area is improved training.


Vehicle-mounted mine detectors are used to support route-clearance operations. Clearance operations ensure that areas are safe for the passage of personnel and equipment. The first vehicle-mounted mine detectors were simple metallic systems such as on the DIM-M type vehicle (see Figure 3), however these had limited minedetection capability and no armour protection. Today, the most advanced vehicles use sophisticated, high-sensitivity, low-metalcontent detectors, ground-penetration

Figure 3: DIM-M type mine-detector vehicle.

Figure 4: Husky with mine detector and GPR. radar systems and/or thermal vision equipment (see Figure 4). However, the next-generation vehicles will need to combine multisensory metal-detection systems, thermal vision equipment and ground-penetration radar technology. Maximum operational speed recently reached 10 to 15 kilometres (6 to 9 miles) per hour, dependent on the sensors used and, above all, on the speed of signal processing. But the average speed of military units is about 40 kilometres (24 miles) per hour, therefore in remotecontrolled mode the working speed of mine-detector vehicles needs to be greatly improved. Future software must also be able to reduce the number of false alarms.



Figure 5: Mine searching with a handheld mine detector.



Lieutenant Colonel Sandor Zsiros (HUN-A) is Head of the NATO EOD COE Technology Development Department. He graduated in engineering from military college in Szentendre in 1987, and began his career as a fortification platoon leader, later serving as an engineer company commander. After completing the Engineer Staff Course in 1993, he worked as a chief of engineers at regiment and brigade level up until 1995, after which he was appointed to several divisional and army engineer staff positions. 30

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

The most basic equipment minedetection equipment is the hand-held metal (mine) detector (see Figure 5). The first mine detectors appeared during the First World War and several types are still used by armed forces. Metal detectors using electromagnetic induction techniques are based on either the continuous wave or pulse induction principle. However, scientists are studying and developing methods that could reduce the false alarm rate and maintain or increase the probability of detection for mine clearance. Future high-sensitivity mine detectors will be based on very high-speed pulse induction technology and capable of exceptional performance against minimum-metal mines. New detection concepts involve searching for characteristics other than mine metal content. For example, a variety of techniques that exploit the properties of the electromagnetic spectrum are now being explored. In addition, research is under way to develop methods based on the acoustics of mine casings or combined with ground-penetration radar. Biological and chemical methods for detecting explosive vapours are being looked at as methods for detecting bulk explosives based on chemical properties. Work is also being carried out to develop advanced

prodders that provide information about the physical characteristics of the object being investigated.


Mines are one of the cheapest weapons for area control or hindering the attempts of civilians and soldiers to cross or occupy a territory. Landmines are therefore widely used by both the armed forces and insurgents and, lying undiscovered and unmarked, cause thousands of post-conflict casualties every year. To deactivate these mines, they first need to be located and identified using mine-searching capabilities. Though appropriate procedures for this are already in place, the main problems of operational speed and number of false alarms remain. Increasing the speed of signal processing and the development of new-generation mine detectors that use multisensory methods are therefore vital in combating this threat.â–

REFERENCES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. h t t p : / / s e a b . e n v m e d . r o c h e s t e r. e d u / j a b a / articles/2011/jaba-44-02-0351.pdf


MINE DOGS IN THE COUNTER-IED FIGHT Originally deployed to Afghanistan to solve the ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ land mine problem, mine detection dogs have adapted and become a useful tool in the counter-IED (C-IED) fight. By US Army 1st Lieutenant Jeffrey W Vlietstra, 49th Engineer Detachment (K9)

Photo above: Mine detection dog Jim and his handler search an area for buried caches and explosives in Zabul Province, Afghanistan. (Photo by US Army 1st Lieutenant Jeffrey Vlietstra, 49th Engineer Detachment)

Military working dogs have been around since the Second World War, and have adapted to their set missions in every conflict within which they have been utilised. During the Second World War, the most common use of dogs was as scouts. A dog and handler would walk well ahead of dismounted infantry soldiers, and were trained to indicate the presence of enemy defences, freezing and pointing, far in advance, thus taking the element of surprise and advantage away from the enemy. In Vietnam, dogs were trained to locate hidden base camps, tunnels, tripwires, caches and buried mines. The dogs in these conflicts saved countless lives and many ‘canine soldiers’ paid the ultimate price themselves. Military working dogs continue to prove themselves on the battlefields of our current conflict. In October 2001, the US military began operations in Afghanistan, faced with an overwhelming number of land mines, unexploded ordinance and other casualty-producing devices left behind

by the Soviet military in the 1980s. The vast number of these explosives and munitions posed a serious problem for military operations and freedom of manoeuvre. By December 2001, the US Army Engineer School was tasked to develop a counter-mine solution for ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’. The short-term solution was to contract minedetection dog (MDD) teams. The first MDD teams arrived in Afghanistan in February 2002, and their great success in counter-mine operations led the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army to authorise an MDD unit at Fort Leonard Wood (US Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, Missouri. The first US Army MDD handlers were sent to the UK for training. The British already had an established training programme and the operational experience to go with it. Upon graduating, in October 2004 the 67th Engineer Detachment was stood up, consisting of mine detection dogs and specialised search dogs. The programme grew



Mine detection dog Jim and his handler search a route in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.

(Photo courtesy of A Company, 1-504th Parachute Infantry Regiment)

Mine detection dog Hershey and her handler searching for buried explosives along a creek bed in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. (Photo by US Army 1st Lieutenant Jeffrey Vlietstra, 49th Engineer Detachment) 32

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

rapidly, and because of its tremendous success and the operational need for working dog teams, an MDD handlers course was established at Fort Leonard Wood through the US Army Engineer School (USAES). As a result, the 49th Engineer Detachment was stood up on 17 October 2005, establishing a purely mine dog unit. The first military mine detection dogs deployed to Afghanistan at the end of 2004. Their sole responsibility at the time was to work with manual deminers for the mine clearance and expansion of Bagram Air Field. One of the largest military

bases in Afghanistan, Bagram was once occupied and protected by Soviet armed forces and is considered one of the most heavily mined areas in the world. Since arriving in 2004, as the only mine dog unit in the US military the 49th Engineering Detachment has maintained a constant presence in Afghanistan, and in May 2010 added another squad of teams to assist the Mine Action Center in Regional Command South as they worked to demine Kandahar Air Field, as well as continuing operations at Bagram. Soon after military operations began in Afghanistan, another explosive threat emerged that posed considerable risk for soldiers. The improvised explosive device (IED) soon became popular with the enemy, who was changing his tactics of making and emplacing these as fast as coalition forces could adapt. However, the one thing the enemy could not change was the explosive and the odour it emits. Dogs soon joined the clearance patrols in search for these hidden killers, searching routes and areas all over Afghanistan. Mine dogs have always proven to be a successful area reduction tool for mine fields in low-threat areas with only a low concentration of mines. Most mines have a much smaller explosive odour than the typical IED, so locating only an 18-kilogramme (40-pound) charge is relatively easy for mine dog teams. One of the biggest advantages of dog teams in the counter-IED (C-IED) fight is the standoff distance. The length of the


Mine detection dog Tobi and his handler conduct an area search for buried explosives in Parwan Province, Afghanistan. (Photo by US Army 1st Lieutenant Jeffrey Vlietstra, 49th Engineer Detachment)

leash allows the handler to keep a safer distance as opposed to using a handheld metal or mine detector, which puts the operator right on top of the ordinance. Speed is another advantage: dog teams can work up to 10 times faster than manual means of clearance. In May 2010, the first mine dog from the 49th Engineering Detachment was used in support of route clearance. The team was used for an operation in Logar Province, in Regional Command East, and searched areas of interest along the route. Though no IEDs were located with the dog team during this first mission, it took less than a month for the first successful IED discovery with a mine dog. The dog team was searching an area of interest near a culvert and located a 45-kilogramme (100-pound) charge buried just beyond it. For the next year, the mine dogs would continue sporadic support to route clearance operations in between their support to demining tasks, but with limited success on just a handful of missions. In October 2010, the teams supporting mine clearance in Regional Command South also began to support route clearance missions between support to mine clearance missions, but again with limited success (locating just a handful of IEDs). However, the mine dog teams were continuing to refine their route clearance tactics, and with every mission would prove their value, whether by locating the buried explosives or deterring

IED emplacers by their presence with the patrols. In November 2011, the two squads of dog teams that had previously operated separately were consolidated under one chain of command, as a theatre engineer brigade was developed. The demining of Kandahar Air Field was complete and winter was setting in at Bagram Air Field, shutting down demining operations. Support to route clearance suddenly became the priority for the mine dogs. Over the winter, the dog teams supported clearance operations across the entire Afghanistan theatre of operations, and were now proving to be an effective enabler. This resounding success would last through the winter and into the 2012 fighting season as the teams were sought after by engineer and infantry units alike to counter the IED threats in their area of operations. The mine dogs have worked exceedingly well alongside other C-IED equipment including ground penetrating radar devices, metal detectors and Goldies. These assets have worked in combination to locate components and pinpoint the main charge, minimising time on the objective and in the engagement area. Mine dog teams are only required to be 95% proficient on all explosive odours, and none of these C-IED enablers are by any means fail-proof by themselves. However, when combined the risk is drastically lowered.




Mine detection dog Gill and his handler search for hidden caches and explosives at a dig site during a mission in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. (Photo by US Army 1st Lieutenant David Brink, Task Force Mad Dog)



Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

The effectiveness of the mine dogs originates in their specialised training and the small amounts of buried explosives they train on. Every living or nonliving thing gives off a scent: a dog’s olfactory system can distinguish every odour coming from an object and carried through the air or transmitted to the soil in the ground. A dog can not only smell the explosive, but also the casing, the fuse, and any other chemicals comprising a charge. All these ingredients make up what is known as the dog’s scent picture. Mine dogs search for mines, which are generally buried, so they are searching for the explosive contamination in the soil. Because a mine dog searches for ground scent, deliberate searches are ideal for their skill set where high-threat areas can be identified prior to the mission. Mine detection dogs will continue to be used as a C-IED asset until the end of ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’, but as this conflict comes to a close, the mine dogs can and should continue to be employed for demining operations worldwide. The United Nations estimates that there are over 110 million mines still spread across 64 countries, causing an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 deaths annually. The mine dogs are an invaluable resource in demining operations, as the job is far from done. ■

REFERENCES Special Text 20.23.12: Mine Detection Dogs in Military Operations FM 3-19.17: Military Working Dogs DA Pam 190-12: Military Working Dog Program


US Army 1st Lieutenant Jeffrey Vlietstra has been the Detachment Commander for the 49th Mine Detection Dogs for 18 months, serving as both a stateside and forward deployed commander. He has served the Army Corps of Engineers for over three years. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in civil engineering.

For more information, please contact: JTF Empire Public Affairs Office Tel: +1 318 481 4834 Email:


THREAT DETECTION IEDs AND BEYOND By Dinesh HC Rempling, Technical Project Officer R&T and Jim Blackburn, Assistant Capability Manager and Project Officer C-IED, European Defence Agency (EDA)

Photo above: Afghan national police demonstrate a vehicle search. © Crown Copyright

Although improvised explosive devices (IEDs) often have little real tactical effect, they account for a significant number of casualties among deployed European military personnel and local civilian populations. In addition to the tragic implications, national political will is affected, which can jeopardise sustaining operations. Fighting IEDs in a comprehensive and effective way at every level is therefore imperative. At the European Defence Agency (EDA), countering IEDs takes pole position among its capability development priorities. The Agency’s broad portfolio of activities includes short-term handson efforts in enhancing search and exploitation capabilities, as well as longterm research initiatives into technologies to support detection and mitigation. In 2007, EDA embarked on a journey to methodically map and identify where European counter-IED (C-IED) capabilities need strengthening. This culminated in ‘Guidelines for Developing National C-IED Capabilities’, a baseline document that provided insights into where European priorities lay. These

priorities have since been addressed, resulting in a number of notable achievements including: • A Level 2 forensic exploitation laboratory demonstrator that was tendered, produced and deployed to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as part of a multinational programme less than 18 months after it received the green light from defence ministers • Effective adopting and implementation of a train-the-trainer approach to search (basic, intermediate and advanced) and manual neutralisation techniques, ground sign awareness and combat tracking • A number of demonstrator projects addressing technologies for structural and personal protection as well as for detection.


Being able to detect an IED at a safe distance allows operators to choose a suitable course of action that will minimise the effect of the IED. If this can be achieved systematically, the



effort is required. The key is to combine technologies with complementary features to create a system whereby ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. To do this, a systematic approach is required that involves two fundamental aspects: • Defining what the needs are today and what they might be in the future • Understanding what technology can offer today and how this may evolve. • Established in 2009, a governmentonly EDA Expert Group on C-IED detection has adopted a systems engineering approach to establish a common requirements baseline and explore different detection systems concepts. Industry and academia are now also actively involved in what has expanded into a Detection Expert Community.


effectiveness of an IED as a weapon is reduced, pushing it down the path towards obsolescence. Although a challenging task, every step taken to enhance detection capability is important in the battle against IEDs. Today, the state of the art in detection is still the human being. Our senses, processing and analytic capabilities are by far the most sophisticated. Eyes, ears and nose acquire information; the gut soaks in the atmospherics; and the brain processes all this information and cross-checks it with mission intelligence, references and experience in order to reach a verdict. Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) package this into an operational capability. However, though interpreting information is still a human task, technology is gradually reducing the workload of the operator in the information acquisition process. Advances in detection capability can contribute to defeating the network, and detecting IED caches and factories can disrupt supply chains and significantly reduce effectiveness.

A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY No one technology can solve the problem of countering IEDs – a team 36

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

The reality operators face in theatre is far from obvious for the engineers and researchers developing detection systems and technologies. For this reason, a number of scenarios have been defined to illustrate situations where enhanced detection capability is required. A scenario is the product of three parameters: • Device: The IED itself, the concept of which dates back hundreds of years, and of which there are various incarnations, including vehicle-borne, person-borne, roadside, buried, culvert and left-behind IEDs. • Context: This is the parameter that helps depict the physical environment (natural and induced) and the operational environment. It is by far the most complex parameter in that it includes aspects such as threat levels, demographics, infrastructure and history. • Operation: Different operations such as static, vehicle-borne and dismounted offer opportunities and constraints with regard to carrying payload. The scenarios that have been defined so far are: • Dirt-road mounted patrol and convoy • Highway logistical transport • Route likely trafficked by Insurgents


• Urban highly populated pedestrian areas • The IED factory, cache or dispatch centre • Initial/recurring route opening • Protection of compounded areas • Surveillance by foot patrol (Inhabited rural or urban areas). Each of the parameters has been detailed in the different scenarios to an extent that it is possible to use in the assessment of systems and technologies. As can be seen from the list above, the need is not only to detect devices, but also to detect the supply chain, and this falls within the realm of attempting to defeat the network.


A number of telltale signs indicate the possible presence of an IED or its supply chain. Though most of these are not definitive, they are nevertheless valid in particular circumstances. • Anomalies: An anomaly implies the presence of the abnormal, or the absence of the normal. An unattended piece of baggage at an airport; a lone car parked on the side of desert road that is trafficked mainly by military convoys; somebody deviating in an erratic way from the conventional behaviour of people in a metropolitan rush-hour; or what looks like a hole that has recently been filled with soil on a dirt road. All of these are indicators and in certain situations need to be taken more seriously than others. However, this requires knowledge of what is considered to be ordinary and what level of deviation warrants alerting. • Components of an IED: IED design is often quite simple, comprising some electronics, electrical circuitry and explosives. While detecting electronics in an urban environment is expected, this might not be the case in a remote rural region with poor population and infrastructure. Similarly, detecting explosives in the vicinity of a military facility could be expected, but not so in a crowded square or a residential area (the telltale sign of a cache or factory). • Precursors: Looking for precursors is particularly relevant in the quest to find the supply chain. Identifying

and tracking larger shipments of, for example, a particular chemical can shed light on the entire network behind the emplacement of IEDs. Gathering complementary information on these indicators (IED signatures) helps give a more accurate picture. Knowing the details of the signatures is therefore essential. EDA has therefore been running a study looking specifically at the characteristics of the explosive component in IEDs. Contracted to TNO with FOI as the other half of the consortium, the study outcome will act as a template for how information can be gathered for other signature types.


Technology has much to offer in different areas of the detection process, which consists of three main elements: • Data acquisition: Technology can be used to enhance the human senses through, for example, improving visual range and resolution. It can also be used to look at what is beyond the capacity of the human senses, such as being able to acquire data from beneath the ground or from the




visible spectrum of light. Clusters of sensor technologies at our disposal include: ◦◦electromagnetic imaging ◦◦electromagnetic ◦◦optical ◦◦biosensors ◦◦electronic/chemical ◦◦X-ray ◦◦neutron • Data fusion: Fusing data from multiple sources provides a more comprehensive picture. This includes calibration of raw data from each sensor and making all data available in one interface. Sophisticated algorithms and processing power are required to be able to do this in real time. • Discrimination processing: This part of the process is where threat evaluation takes place. Humans play a key role here, however the use of automated algorithms to help process the data can greatly reduce the workload of an operator by highlighting the more likely threats. The need to do everything in real time sets tough requirements on processing power. The role of technology is thus to widen the scope of data acquisition such that data acquired from each sensor complement one another. The role is furthermore to process all this data so that it becomes readily accessible to the operator. Of great importance in this context is how the information is finally presented to the operator.


Recent experience from operations in Afghanistan and Iraq has highlighted the need to be able to counter IEDs. This accounts for the past and present, but what the future holds we do not know. What we do know is that we need to be prepared to be able to deal with a 38

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

number of different conventional and asymmetric threats, either isolated from one another or in different combinations. The challenge for the threat detection capability of the future is thus to be able to find a threat in a blur. Reliable warning will remain key. Warning needs to come at a safe distance and have a low false alarm rate. The important thing is not to understand the exact details of a threat, but to know that there is a high likelihood of its presence. Once this is known, TTPs can tackle the rest. If this implies further investigation, technology can assist and in doing so keep personnel out of harm’s way. From a technological point of view, the techniques and sensors used for detection of IEDs are the same as for a number of other types of threats. What will change are the amounts of data to be analysed. Looking not only for signatures related to IEDs, but to other threats as well, requires advanced algorithms and powerful processors. Connectivity to networks to access reference information and mission intelligence will further burden computing power. The design of detection systems will need to be modular and compatible with different types of platforms (manned and unmanned); tuneable to different types of threat profiles; have a plugand-play type architecture that allows for easy upgrading of both hardware and software; and be affordable.


EDA’s Detection Expert Community will continue its systematic efforts, and the way ahead includes: • Establishing generic technical requirements essential for systems that do not limit themselves to IEDs • More in-depth assessment of technologies and techniques that take into account: ◦◦availability in terms of maturity and accessibility ◦◦overall impact on a capability


◦◦affordability with regard to development, initial and through-life costs • Attempting to launch a technology programme based on the technical requirements for and technology assessment of both short- and longterm needs.


EDA has some very interesting work ahead. The scenario-based systems engineering approach adopted will continue to provide a solid base for tackling short- and long-term technology investments. ■


Dinesh HC Rempling has been with the European Defence Agency (EDA) since 2008. As Technical Project Officer at the Research and Technology Directorate (R&T), he has the R&T responsibility for three areas. As the moderator of the forum for Energetics, Missiles and Munitions he is responsible for launching multinational collaborative projects and establishing and maintaining the Strategic Research Agenda for the area. Within C-IED he has mainly focused on detection – focusing on a systems engineering approach to deliver systems for IED detection – and exploitation – where he was heavily involved in the development and deployment of the first European C-IED Level 2 forensics exploitation laboratory. He is also the driver of Military Green, developing a comprehensive approach to mitigating adverse effects to the environment in the context of defence and crisis management. Between 2001 and 2008 he worked for the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) at the Naval Procurement Command in Stockholm where he was co-responsible for the area Marine Electrical Systems for surface- and submersible crafts. This also included being the Swedish representative in NATO and Western European Armament Group forums, and in 2006 he was appointed Government Expert for Energy and Propulsion within the EDA framework. He holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm.

Jim Blackburn is the Project Officer taking the lead in the European Defence Agency (EDA) for Countering IEDs and CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear) EOD. He is an ex-British Army Officer who retired in 2007 to take up his current appointment. An expert in C-IED, he spent most of his 21 years of military service in ammunition and explosive related appointments, although he has a broad range of experience. He has worked in the UK and Germany, and has operational experience in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as commanding the EOD Squadron in the UK covering Southeast England and responsible for the civil authorities for IEDD, EOD and CBRN response. An Ammunition Technical Officer, he has a deep understanding of explosives and ammunition from first principles. In his current post he not only coordinates the EDA C-IED activity, but also acts as a subject matter expert advising and supporting other EU Agencies when required. He has been instrumental in catalysing C-IED capability development across the EU in the areas of search manual neutralisation, route clearance and exploitation, and was the Project Lead for the EDA Level 2 forensics exploitation lab, which deployed to Afghanistan under a French lead in the middle of the year. Jim has a Bachelor’s degree in IT and a Masters degree in Explosives Ordnance Engineering. He is married with four children.



In the X-ray business, Image is everything In C-IED it could save a life.. We give you the detail rich images you need to make the right call Component level information helps you build up IED profiles for Attack the Network activities Revealing of minute detail for improved post blast investigation work

X-ray Plates for Search and EOD

Backpackable x-ray systems for rapid response

Rugged, weather- resistant flat panel aSi x-ray imagers.

Trusted X-ray Performance

Large Format Flexi Plates for large area x-ray investigation

Email: Web:



Counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) policy and the development of IED detection capability are currently at the forefront of defence agency agendas across both Europe and the US. Multiple technologies are deployed within C-IED that can assist in early detection, ‘Attack the Network’ and Intelligence-gathering activities to facilitate the eventual detection and disruption of the supply chains and ultimately make IED attacks less effective. By Scanna MSC Ltd

Photo above: X-ray of IED concealed in a lunchbox.

In seeking to address ways to counter the IED threat, NATO doctrine outlines six key operational areas: 1. Detect 2. Mitigate 3. Neutralise 4. Exploit 5. Predict 6. Prevent. The European Defence Agency (EDA) also includes other military skills such as search, route clearance, tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), IED disposal (IEDD) and counterradio-controlled IED electronic warfare (CREW). One of the many sensor technologies available to acquire data on IEDs is X-ray imaging, which can see information beyond the range of human capability.


X-ray is a useful tool in the soldier’s search kit for picking out anomalies and acquiring data on a found or suspicious object. X-ray inspection of any object will reveal its nature and can be deployed as a fast confirmatory tool without the need to pick up the object. Search equipment needs to be manportable with the hands left free for other search tools, so compact X-ray systems with flat imaging areas such as Scanwedge that can be carried in a small backpack and weigh less than 10 kilogrammes (22 pounds) fit this job perfectly. Scanwedge can be pre-cabled inside the backpack so that deployment takes only the time needed to place the imaging equipment at the target end, and start up the laptop and X-ray program



Scanwedge portable x-ray system used in IED search and detection.



Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

at the control area. Because the X-ray device is controlled by software, if the shot is not right first time, the X-ray power can be adjusted and the object reinspected remotely without re-approach within just a few seconds. Many chargecoupled device (CCD) systems, including Scanwedge, can be fully integrated onto explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robots, allowing the EOD team to move the X-ray equipment into place as well as controlling the X-ray system over the robot communications link or via wireless communication where applicable. High-resolution X-ray can also reveal the construction and location of component parts inside an IED, providing valuable information to the IEDD operator for making a manual or remote intervention.


Mitigating the threat of an IED means rapid deployment, fast detection and neutralisation or rendering safe of the device. X-ray equipment used for IEDD tasks needs to have a very high dynamic range to enable fine wiring and circuitry detail to be examined, as well as measurement tools to determine component coordinates and the ability to zoom in and select a region of interest for detailed investigation. Two X-ray technologies are capable of performing this task, and each has its own specific characteristics beneficial to IEDD tasks. The first is computed radiography (CR) equipment, which works in a similar way to traditional Polaroid film X-ray systems

in that a photo-sensitive film is used to capture the object X-ray image and then manually processed to view the image. Polaroid film could only be used once, which meant it was necessary to carry and store boxes of film. Any mistakes meant new film needed to be used, replaced at target end and reshot, repeating until an acceptable working image was achieved. In addition, the film had dead areas where edges of cassettes were joined or unexposed, and where an IED could potentially go unseen. This had obvious disadvantages both in terms of time on task, increased threat to operator and operating costs. The latest digital X-ray plates offer fast, one-click image acquisition and require only one image to be shot instead of the five or more that might be needed to shoot on Polaroid film. This is because a phosphor imaging plate, which has 10 times the dynamic range of film and imaging software, can be used to reveal a layer of detail hidden in the thousands of greyscale levels that make up a digital image. Digital film can also be used again and again, so ongoing operating costs are much lower. Another real benefit of a CR system is that the imaging plates are extremely flat and flexible and can be taped or hung from almost any surface. Multiple imaging plates can be taped together to X-ray a larger object in a single X-ray exposure, and the resulting radiographs seamlessly stitched together in a single large image using the X-ray software, which is just not possible with rigid X-ray plates. More importantly, a CR X-ray system has fast image-processing algorithms for exceptionally high-resolution images with pixel sizes down to 50 microns and capable of seeing 10 line pairs, which could be critical for determining the wiring construct needed for rendersafe procedures. Extra clarity also makes component location much faster and accurate, meaning a threat can be mitigated and neutralised quickly and with confidence. As CR systems are film based there is still the need to process the film before the X-ray image can be viewed, so although all that is needed at target end is a flexible sheet of X-ray film, the size and weight of the image processor needs is a factor for consideration in some fieldbased operations.


Where man-portability, speed and image resolution are all determining factors, and where there is a risk of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) material being present in an IED and additional precautions are required, an amorphous silicon, or aSi, flat-panel X-ray system is the most applicable tool for the job. Such imaging systems have a dynamic range so high that they can achieve object penetration and contrast detail previously unobtainable. Small compact systems such as Scansilc 2520 have a 127-micron pixel size that will capture the finest detail of wiring or circuitry with a fast readout time of just 1 second. They can be backpacked for light-scale operations, whereas larger panels can be deployed for large object inspection. In a suspected CBRN explosives task, aSi X-ray technology can be used with dual-energy modules fitted onto the X-ray source to provide information on potential organic material. Dual-energy technology allows X-rays to be measured in two different energies, which the X-ray separates into different contrasting colours to enable operators to identify and differentiate organic and inorganic materials.


In order to attack the IED network, military intelligence teams need detailed information on the construction and composition of IEDs. Following discovery or activation of an IED, every fragment is essential to the forensic team to understand both its makeup and its likely provenance. These teams gather and exploit evidence from blasts and each device is reconstructed, replicated and tested. X-ray investigation is a complementary technology that enables forensic teams to recognise an IED signature and also to predict patterns in bomb making that may identify a change in tactics or identify components from a common source. Recent investigation of wires, charges and other explosive components used in a series of bombs have indicated materials are being sourced from specific areas, which means strategies to block these trade routes can be put into place. Forensic exploitation procedures and post-blast analysis associated with IEDs do not need to be carried out where

the device is found. Ruggedness and portability are therefore less of an issue and image resolution becomes the determining factor. CR systems such as CR35 or ScanX Scout really come into their own for this type of task, and larger cabinet X-ray systems such as the Scanmax 225 (which runs the same X-ray imaging software as CR35 and ScanX Scout) are also used in Level 2 labs to provide a closed radiation chamber within which objects can be closely examined and documented. The X-ray image data is used in a number of ways including analysis for identification of explosives/initiators/ booby traps, to produce output for technical reports on findings, to develop device profiles and to maintain and document chains of custody of X-ray data.

X-ray detail of a detonator can reveal its likely provenance.


No single technology can solve the IED problem, however each has a role to play. X-ray analysis and imaging has now become part of a larger data fusion picture where the signature information is exported to a central intelligence point that can reference the image information to other sensory data to complete the profile picture. This holistic use of X-ray images as part of a larger IED threat analysis framework should provide a much more comprehensive picture for exploiting the forensic evidence within IEDs, in detecting the supply chain, helping to predicting future threats and, ultimately, preventing as many future devices as possible being successful. â–





FORCE PROTECTION’S CONVENIENT MYTH By Peter Kant, Executive Vice President, Rapiscan Systems

Photo above: US Army Sergeant Jacob Bauer, an infantry team leader with 3rd Platoon, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Infantry Division, prepares to lead his paratroopers on a patrol in Mulakala, Afghanistan, 30 August 2012. 44

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

It is a well-known fact that security screening and person/vehicle/parcel inspection are the primary means of defending against improvised explosive devices (IEDs), especially in a combat theatre. But less commonly known is that security screening is not, in fact, one-size-fits-all. Silver bullets in threat detection simply do not exist, except perhaps in the world of science-fiction films. Even if a one-size-fits-all solution did exist, how long would it remain effective? Enemy combatants are increasingly adaptable to deployed screening technologies, finding new ways to deliver explosive threats regardless of detection methods. A silver bullet would quickly lose its shine when placed in theatre as the enemy finds ways to overcome the screening procedures used. This last point is particularly important – the enemy’s tactics, including IEDs, are constantly evolving, so trying to use static detection methods, even if brand new, simply will not work. The ability to

quickly adapt and respond to new IED delivery methods is key, and something that cannot be effectively achieved by a static checkpoint. Additionally, force commanders need to stop thinking about IED detection in terms of singular technologies; thermal cameras, laser trace detection, X-ray machines and the like all have their uses, but these specific technologies are not the answer. Against a flexible enemy, security checkpoints and forward operating bases need flexible detection capabilities.


Layered security is not exactly a new concept – in civilian cargo and freight screening, the practice is already heavily used, allowing for a more complete view of a supply chain and thereby greatly enhancing the efficacy of cargo security. Layers are also vital in defending against IED threats, specifically multiple methods of explosive/threat detection. By leveraging redundant screening


technologies and methods, IEDs can be more effectively identified and neutralised, before they ever reach a checkpoint or entry point. Several components comprise an effective layered security screening strategy for force protection and IED detection:

centre know exactly what types of threats they are looking for and how these dangers should be dealt with when detected. A one-size-fits-all strategy fails here – specific threats require specific screening and specific remediation, particularly at the checkpoint.

• intelligence • command and control • checkpoint • short-range scanning/screening • medium-range scanning/screening • long-range scanning/screening.

If the command-and-control centre makes up the brains of an IED detection operation, then the checkpoint makes up the body. The bulk of screening activities occur at this location, regardless of whether the deployment is an urban or rugged area, and it is the final line of defence between sensitive assets and infrastructure, and threats posed by smuggled-in IEDs. A standard civilian-style checkpoint is fine to start with, but relying on this simplistic footprint is disastrous in an actual operating theatre. Force commanders need to determine how they want traffic to flow, whether this checkpoint will handle supplies as well as personnel, how vehicles will be screened, and so on. The modern military checkpoint requires far more than a ‘mean guard and a magnet’, especially with the ever-present threat of an IED attack. In answering these questions, commanders will gain a better idea of what types of screening technologies and what forms of specialisations their specific checkpoint will require. For example, if cargo and supply screening will be needed, then it is necessary to not only purchase the proper X-ray screening equipment and advanced software analytics to detect potential explosive threats, but also to lay out the checkpoint in such a way that truck traffic will not impede base business or other screening operations. If people screening will be conducted at this checkpoint, then commanders need to understand that metal detectors, while still important, are decidedly not enough. Beyond the ‘magnet’, commanders need to consider various peoplescanning technologies, including full body scanners, and how they will handle not only screening for conventional threats like guns and knives, but also the detection of explosive and chemical weapon traces. But the checkpoint is no longer the


One of the primary components for an effective force-protection strategy is intelligence; not intellect (although that is an unspoken requirement), but rather data and information about enemy combatants, and IED delivery methods and components. Much like how the US Department of Homeland Security gathers intelligence about US-bound cargo to aid in screening efforts, extra information about potential threats facing a forward operating base or entry point are key. This intelligence does not have to take the form of covert operatives or double agents; nothing so dramatic. It can be as simple as receiving shared information from border checkpoints, customs officials or shipping companies to better understand when potential threats are entering the region, let alone the danger zone around the secured location. Collaboration with US-based assets is also vital for effective intelligence, as other military operations may be experiencing a certain brand of IED attack and have best practices to deal with it. The brains of the IED detection operation also encompass a commandand-control location, which should also serve as the image analysis hub for the deployed screening and detection technologies. Operated remotely from the checkpoint itself, this location, typically within the secured base/facility, provides the analysis and data used to determine what is a threat, what is not a threat, and what requires further screening/study. Given the specialised nature of these tasks, it is imperative that operators working in the command-and-control





be-all and end-all of security screening. Emerging technologies now provide force commanders with the ability to detect threats extremely early, well before they arrive within the threat zone of the base itself.



Security screening and threat detection is no longer something that happens only at the security checkpoint. Instead, the first defence against IEDs takes place several hundred metres away from a base, using standoff technologies that are essentially devices that can be used to detect potential dangers at a distance. These standoff technologies are by far one of the most powerful new tools used in defending critical infrastructure and personnel from the threats posed by IEDs. Not one single device, multiple methods of scanning define the classification of ‘standoff’, including: • Raman spectroscopy, which uses a laser to detect explosive traces through the vibration of light molecules • Infrared spectroscopy, which complements Raman spectroscopy but uses infrared energy to determine explosive traces. • Hyperspectral imaging, which relies on information collected from the electromagnetic spectrum to pinpoint toxins, chemical weapons, explosives and other dangerous compounds from a distance. Along with these cutting-edge technologies, more traditional devices, such as infrared and low-light cameras combined with video analytics, can also be used to detect potential IED threats at distance. Video analytics in particular can help operators flag specific individuals or vehicles that are behaving suspiciously, well beyond the threat zone of a given base. However, all these technologies, no matter how advanced or powerful, are useless without proper calibration and integration, another factor that force commanders must reckon with to face down the threats posed by IEDs.

Peter Kant is Executive Vice President for Rapiscan Systems, a provider of security inspection solutions. 46

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012


By itself, gear is just gear – even the most sophisticated security screening

technology is just a glorified X-ray machine if it is not integrated into a wholesale solution. In detecting IEDs, the need for integration of detection technologies is even greater. Without properly integrating all of these technologies across the checkpoint, screening data is siloed. It is not unthinkable that enemy combatants could smuggle IED components into a base and assemble the devices within the walls, especially if long-range scanners, trace detectors and X-ray screening machines are not working in unison. Integration provides a clearer picture of the overall security footprint, enabling force commanders to better respond to constant and emerging threats. Integration does not end with technology, however. As pointed out earlier, integrating intelligence is also key – compiling data from shipping manifests, border crossings and other entry points around the theatre can help force commanders make more educated decisions about the threats facing their personnel. The importance of integration to IED detection means that force commanders need to consider their partners, both operational and technological, when it comes to the checkpoint. Ideally, at least one of these partners should have a core competency in security screening and inspection technology beyond just ‘building boxes’. The partner should understand all of the ins and outs of a checkpoint, from technology and installation to checkpoint set-up and personnel training. Field-experienced partners are vital to ensure a checkpoint can live up to its IED detection potential. There is no one-size-fits-all method for security screening, not in the civilian world and certainly not in an operating combat theatre. While advanced, specialised gear is a key component in successfully detecting and neutralising IED threats, without the right integration, the right training and the right operators, all of those shiny technologies are just boxes with wires and lenses. Force commanders need to see beyond the pieces of gear and the security footprint, and understand the whole schematic of their situation – this is where they will find the strategies and information that can best protect their bases, personnel and infrastructure.■


INTELLIGENT CONTROL OF ADVERSARY RADIO COMMUNICATION (ICAR) By Philippe Morgand, Project Manager, Sensors Processing Laboratory department, Thales Communications and Security and Michael Sieber, Assistant Director Research & Technology, European Defence Agency (EDA)



The European Defence Agency (EDA) and its participating Member States are currently harvesting the results of a Joint Investment Programme on Force Protection (JIP-FP), one of the EDA flagships started in 2008 to jointly tackle the most obvious challenges in crisis management operations. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) range among the most important threats in asymmetric warfare, with not only physical, but also a high psychological impact on our forces. The ICAR project, under the JIP-FP, has explored new technologies to mitigate this threat – smarter sensing, powerful information fusion and intelligent countermeasures. In order to prove that these technologies are fit for purpose, they were applied in three different realistic scenarios – protection of patrols, of convoys and of infrastructure.


ICAR addresses directly and extensively the capability shortfall related to the reliable selective prevention, control, capture and blocking of adversary mobile communications, with reduced collateral effects, in multi-path environments such as urban or mountain areas. The main goal was to study and define an affordable, complete and integrated response to the needs of intercepting, localising, monitoring, and selectively blocking the threats at the radio interface, in operational and realistic theatres, facing current and new mobile radiocommunication technologies. The main goal of ICAR was to show the proof of concept through test beds integrating

previous technical capabilities with lowvisibility antennas and information fusion. These test beds manage: • Adversary mobile phone communication in order to capture, prevent, modify or limit threats and impact in a defined area. This means intelligence gathering and selective disruption of adverse medias, with limited indiscretion and collateral effects; • Radio-controlled IED (RC-IED) jamming and deception for protection of VIPs, convoys and confined zones. ICAR has studied and validated experimentally the performance of an efficient and reactive control system at the radio interface, targeting radio cellular and professional-mobile-radio (PMR) phones.


The ICAR demonstrator is composed of four main components: sensors, effectors, and the core, including data fusion and intelligence (Intel). The sensors allow: • constant knowledge of the radio communications activities on site through the Spectrum monitoring system (SM); • estimation of the position of the transmitters by the core to the location system. This location system use for GSM targets the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number supply by the Intel through the core. The core: • collects the transmitter frequencies sent by the SM on site;



• examine, by homing and through onboard cameras, the nature of the IED in order to confirm and estimate the level of threat. The Man-Machine Interface (MMI) allows the operator to visualise the exchange of messages between components, as well as analysis of data/ information collected and the decision taken. This testbed is depicted by the Figure 1, which shows the four main components described above.

ICAR core: the ‘brain’ of ICAR

Figure 1: ICAR block diagram.

Figure 2: ICAR core block diagram.


Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

• analyses these existing transmissions and decides which phones belong to possible spies. The Intel information can help the core in this decision; • commands the actions to start to the unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) and embedded jammers. The UGV and jammers: • allow detection of possible radio communication threats by identifying the RC signals of IEDs; • block the activities of the communication of interest by sending an adapted signal to the kind of transmission realised;

ICAR is given the task to autonomously take out only specific radio links that pose threats, without disrupting other links. The ICAR core provides this required selectivity. How does ICAR figure out what signals to jam? Electronic warfare (EW) equipment provides data on active transmitters, and additional information can be fed in from a patrol that has sighted foes using radio equipment. Furthermore, ICAR is provided with ‘background’ information on allowable and forbidden radio links, through intelligence channels. It is the ICAR core’s job to fuse these data. The ICAR core demonstrator looks at time, frequency and location of all EW and patrol reports, and connects those that fit (see Figure 2). Based on the rules on allowed and forbidden radio links, the ICAR core will make a decision and give the order to jam a frequency if it is sure enough that the radio link is forbidden. This selectivity is the result of the fusion of information from multiple sources, where thresholds can be set depending on the gravity of the situation. What information is required? In order to be selective, the ICAR core requires input from multiple EW sensors, including information about the physical world. In the demonstrator, three features have been used: time, location and frequency. Outside information could relay time and location data, upon which the ICAR core can decide which frequency is most likely to be linked to any threats. Importantly, ICAR requires human input before a mission, concerning when specific transmissions are allowed – or


not. During the operation, however, no ICAR operator should be required to be EW-trained. Why use ICAR functionality? The ICAR core demonstrator can operate in two distinct modes. In the ‘Comms’ mode it can fuse input and determine which specific frequency needs to be jammed. It will then command a jammer (in the vicinity of the transmitter) to disrupt the provided frequency. This type of functionality can be used to deploy EW equipment during a mission where EW personnel are scarce. The ‘CIED’ mode provides a flexible jamming mission, to target only that device frequencies that are likely threats in an area. It uses intelligence and observations to select which threats should be countered, freeing up spectrum, reducing interference and saving power. Figure 3 shows the block diagram of this function.

ICAR sensing: the ‘eyes’

The ‘eyes’ of the ICAR system are composed of the Spectrum monitoring system, location system and an IMSI catcher briefly described above and covered in more details below.

Spectrum monitoring system

The ICAR system needs constant knowledge of the radio communications activities on the site where the armed forces are operating. Thus the Spectrum monitoring system (SM), operating in the bandwidth 100–2500 MHz, can simultaneously show the operator the results of four-spectrum analysis. These analyses are realised with a 40 Mhz instantaneous bandwidth slippery in the sub-bands defined by the operator as, for instance, 100–200, 200–500, 700–1920 and 1920–2500 MHz. The operator can select from one to four sub-bands and then the lower and upper frequencies of each. A tunable waterfall is associated to each sub-band selected, and for each sub-band analysed, a list of transmission detected is automatically established. Each detection includes the frequency, the energy and signal-to-noise ratio level. The threshold level of detection is automatic or can be controlled by the ICAR system. The SM works independently and

sends on each ICAR core request the updated list of data detections. Figure 3 shows the SM MMI with, from the left to the right: the detection list, spectrum band analysed and associated waterfall.

Figure 3: Spectrum monitoring MMI.

Location system

The location of the target positions is obtained by cross-referencing the direction of arrival (DoA) supplied by each direction-finding (DF) system. Three DF systems set on a triangle area provide the best accuracy and full coverage of the zone to be protected. For ICAR demonstration purposes and reasons of cost, location is often limited to two DF systems. In this case, the system is composed of two ground mobile DF stations embedded on two vans for patrol or zone protection scenarios. In a convoy scenario, the ground line constituted by two vans on the road does not allow, in front or in the back of the convoy, the intersection of the DoA. Thus the location is realised from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and a van station following the convoy. Each DF works with two arrays of antennas that cover the bandwidth 150–500 MHz and 700–2500 MHz. The middle band is not considered because it is normally reserved for civilian TV transmissions. For ICAR purposes, this system is mainly dedicated to estimating the position of civilian VHF (150 MHz), PMR (450 MHz), 2G+ and 3G transmitters,




the existing ones used by the network operator in the local cell so as not disturb possible friend calls. An IMSI catcher (IC) is used to perform this function. It first catches all of the IMSIs of the phones present in the local cell before sending the list to Intel function that will choose one according to the phone database knowledge of the foes. The IC then uses the known IMSI to force a mute call on the spy phone in order to identify the possible position of the enemy.

ICAR Detection and Jamming System (DJS): the ‘fist’

Figure 4: DF and location MMI.

Figure 5: UGV Dromader with detection and jamming system.


Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

but can also be used for any emitters working in the bandwidth covered by the two arrays. Figure 4 shows the location MMI with, on the left column, the two radars’ visualisation of the DF (van and UAV), and on the right the estimated location points (red circle), on a local map showing the two DF positions (blue triangle and circle). The latitude and longitude of the target position are indicated below the map (red ellipse). 2G and 3G phones used on site by enemies are present within the same network cell used by the phones of ‘friends’. However, when the phones are in idle mode, there is no transmission in the cell. ICAR needs to force activate the phone of the foe, among the other phones, by a ‘mute call’ (MC), which is carried out on a frequency outside of

The DJS is designed to control adversary communication according to the tasks and profiles defined by the IACR core. It has three major modes of operation: • spectrum monitoring • barrage jamming • response jamming. Spectrum monitoring can be used for spectrum occupancy control and indication of suspicious signals in forbidden frequency bands, whereas barrage jamming is performed according to profiles assigned by the ICAR core on the basis of a sensing subsystem. The most advanced mode is response jamming, where the receiver monitors predefined spectrum bands, and after detection of suspicious signals generates jamming signals at a specific frequency. During jamming transmission, short lookthrough periods are provided to control the activity of jammed signals. Short reaction time is available if enabled by the DJS for efficient blocking of IED radio-triggering. To minimise unwanted effects on own and allied systems, jammer output power should be as low as possible, so the effective jamming range would be also limited. This means it is necessary to minimise the distance between the jammer and jammed device. To fulfil this requirement, the DJS is mounted on a high-mobility Dromader unmanned ground vehicle (UGV – see Figure 5) remotely controlled robot, powered by a diesel engine, with the ability to move on heavy terrain and achieve speeds up to 20 kilometres (12.7 miles) per hour. Its manipulator can perform simple tasks related to video reconnaissance and can be equipped


with explosive neutralising devices. The UGV and DJS functions can be remotely controlled by robot operator (see Figure 6). The DJS is mounted on board the UGV and consists of three basic modules (see Figure 7). The Control Module is responsible for remote control of the UGV and DJS, and communications with the remote-control station. The Receiver Module performs radio frequency scanning and controls the DJS jamming algorithms. The Transmitter Module is responsible for amplification of the jamming signal. All components of the DJS are placed in shielding enclosures to increase their immunity against the high-level radio frequency jamming signals generated by the Transmitter Module.

ICAR testing, trials and demonstration Laboratory and field tests of the ICAR components and core were performed at the partner locations. UAV ground testing as well as mechanical and electrical payload integration tests took place at the facilities of the UAV provider. The field testing of the complete ICAR system required a trial area with nearurban characteristics, open field as well as closeby residential building structures. The area also needed to be at some distance from larger cities to allow for the UAV flights and the authorisation of the jamming transmissions. With the support of the Austrian Armed Forces, the JANSA barracks in Großmittel, Austria, were chosen as the trial and demonstration site. Transmission authorisation was granted by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, and supported by three mobile telecoms providers. The UAV flights were authorised for the required flight altitude of 90 metres (295 feet) above ground. The testing of the ICAR components in the field was performed between 26 June and 19 July 2012, and ended with the ICAR demonstration and the participation of end users as well as Ministry of Defence (MOD) and European Defence Agency (EDA) representatives from Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Slovenia who provided feedback on the trial results.


Together with a series of other projects under the JIP-FP, ICAR has not only provided innovative approaches to current and future challenges, but has also brought tangible results. This way, military users will be able to further evaluate their utility and finally come to a decision about future equipment. ICAR and the JIP-FP as a whole are a true testimony that European collaboration in defence research works. The main goals of the ICAR project were to capture, prevent, modify or limit the threats and impact of adversary mobile-phone communication in a defined area and then to jam and deceive RC signals for IEDs in order to protect VIPs, convoys and confined zones. These functionalities, based on the three components of the demonstrator described earlier as sensors (eyes), data fusion (brain) and jamming (fist), were tested in three scenarios – patrol, convoy and zone protection – initially proposed by the end users. A script

Figure 6: Operator and human machine interface (HMI) of UGV remote-control station.

Figure 7: General view of the Detection and Jamming System diagram.

Figure 8: A UAV takes off from the trial area carrying the ICAR location system.



describing the role and timing of each participant as foe or friend defined each scenario. The test bed efficiency was successfully demonstrated in real time during either the preparation phase or the demonstration performed in Austria on 19 July 2012.


This project was managed and funded in the frame of the EDA R&T Joint Investment Programme on Force Protection by the Contributing Members: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

The consortium involves teams from eight nations: France (THALES), Germany (FKIE), Netherlands (TNO), Poland (MUT), Austria (JR), Greece (TELETEL), Slovakia (AOS), and Belgium (RMA), (see figure on the left and table below). Thanks to all the project partners having contributed to the success of the ICAR project by their constant efforts during all phases of execution and to Schiebel UAV industry involved in the location function for the convoy scenario. We address also our special thanks to the Austrian Ministry of Defence and Army for hosting the trials and demonstrations at the Jansa Kaserne in Großmittel near Vienna in June and July 2012. ■

Participant organisation name


Short name

THALES Communications and Security



Military University of Technology



Royal Military Academy & Université catholique de Louvain











Armed Forces Academy of Slovakia






Joanneum Research

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Philippe Morgand is a project manager in the Sensors Processing Laboratory department at Thales Communications and Security, in Genevilliers, France. His interests include location algorithms, MIMO transmissions, civilian networks and real-time systems. He has been involved as coordinator in the FP5 project named ESCORT (GSM-R MIMO transmissions in confined METRO tunnels), the RNRT LUTECE project (GSM location system by direction finding and homing for SAR of people under avalanches), the GSA MAGIC project dedicated to the X,Y location by triangulation of Galileo and GPS interferers, the FP6 STARRS project aimed at detecting and locating by direction finding and homing unconscious people using 3G or PMR terminals under rubbles or in ferro concrete buildings, and the EDA contract named ICAR and dedicated to detection and location of adversary communications and RC-IED. Michael Sieber has a Diploma in Electrical Engineering. During his military and civil service in the German Armed Forces he assumed various responsibilities in operational, technical and international domains. This included munitions, vehicles, robotics, communications, modelling and simulation, radio frequency/electro-optical sensors, reconnaissance technology and electronic warfare. In the German Ministry of Defence he was Senior International Armaments Affairs Officer, before joining the European Defence Agency (EDA) as Assistant Research & Technology Director in 2010.


Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

safe conduct




CAMCOPTER® S-100 – UNLIMITED APPLICATIONS Founded in 1951, the Vienna-based Schiebel Group of companies focuses on the development, testing and production of state-of-the-art mine-detection equipment and the revolutionary CAMCOPTER® S-100 unmanned air system (UAS). By Schiebel Group

Photo above: CAMCOPTER® S-100. Photo credit: Schiebel


Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 is a proven capability for military and civilian applications and is currently in operational use in many countries worldwide. Fields of application for the unmanned helicopter are many, and it is this flexibility that gives S-100 the edge when compared to other systems in its class. Typical operations include surveillance for anti-smuggling missions, searching for mineral and fossil-fuel deposits, anti-piracy missions, convoy protection, mine field mapping, border control, harbour patrol, search and rescue as well as disaster support and monitoring. The routine monitoring of pipelines, water lines, electrical power lines, communication lines and large factory premises and plants can also be carried out. Moreover, with its flexible payload suite, scientific measurements and movie shoots are also possible fields of application. Most recently, Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 has played an integral

role in the Intelligent Control of Adversary Radio Communications (ICAR) project and its successful demonstration, which took place at the Jansa Barracks in Austria on 19 July 2012. The ICAR European Defence Agency (EDA) programme is dedicated to the development of a credible system capability that is to locate, monitor, intercept and selectively block hostile radio communications in peacekeeping operations. An essential aspect is the prevention of wireless triggering of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in order to avoid personal injuries. In the anticipated test scenario, the CAMCOPTER® S-100 escorted a convoy at a flight altitude of 90 metres (295 feet) and at a typical flight speed of 36 kilometres (22 miles) per hour. The S-100, equipped with two payloads developed by Thales, detected and localised the possible threat. Eventually, an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robot was sent to the designated area to jam the potential mobile communication signal


that otherwise could have triggered the detonation of the IED. The robust design of the S-100 is ideally suited for use in maritime missions. It has already successfully proved its maritime surveillance capability on 14 different classes of vessels in three oceans. To date, the CAMCOPTER S-100 has achieved hundreds of flight hours that include more than 500 takeoffs and landings on both military and civilian vessels at relative wind speeds of up to 40 knots. Schiebel continuously seeks out new challenges with the objective of being the partner that customers can rely on, which has also led to several firsts. In 2009 and 2010, the S-100 was the first UAS ever to fly at the Paris Air Show, at ILA Berlin and, in 2011, at IDEX Abu Dhabi. In 2010, the unmanned helicopter supported the provision of security at the fifth meeting of the G-20 Heads of Government in Seoul, South Korea. It was the only UAS to be entrusted with providing security support. Not surprisingly, it is also the first European UAS involved in a trans-Atlantic commercial cooperation scheme and, in cooperation with Boeing, has already achieved success in the US. As vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) system, the S-100 eliminates the need for runways or launch and recovery systems, and operates day and night. With its capability for autonomous flight and a fully redundant flightcontrol system, it can fly a programmed mission without operator intervention, or can be reprogrammed at any time when airborne to perform alternative missions or react to task changes with a beyond line-of-sight capability out to 200 kilometres (124 miles). Highdefinition payload imagery and/or data is transmitted to the control station in real time to enable immediate analysis and decisions to be made. Two payload bays are incorporated into the award-winning design. Together with side hard-points and an internal auxiliary electronics bay, the S-100 meets diverse and individual customer requirements. Invariably more cost-effective than a manned alternative, the drone enables users to get the very most out of their budget by providing them with the information they need up to a service ceiling of 18,000 feet (5,486 metres). In the standard configuration

it carries a 34-kilogramme (75-pound) payload for over 6 hours (up to 10 hours with external fuel tank) and is powered with AVGas or heavy fuel. The flexibility that the CAMCOPTER® S-100 brings its customers is unmatched. No other VTOL UAS in its class can match its endurance, payload capacity or its speed in both the land and maritime environments.  A proven and mature system with some 140 aircrafts currently in use throughout the world, the future tasks and requirements of VTOL UAS within the civilian and military markets can be met in full – and invariably surpassed by the CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAS. Due to this absolute customer commitment and lasting long-term improvements, one can expect to see the CAMCOPTER® S-100 being used in a variety of situations and tasks that may not have been seen before.

CAMCOPTER® S-100. Photo credit: Schiebel


Schiebel has worked successfully for over 60 years to become a global technology leader. Still a world-leading expert in mine-detection technology, Schiebel offers a wide variety of state-ofthe-art equipment to its customers. Development of the AN-19/2 Mine Detecting for the Swedish Army marked the company’s entry into the international market. Further orders from various NATO countries followed and strengthened Schiebel’s world market position.

AN-19/2 Mine Detecting Set. Photo credit: Schiebel



MIMID™ Miniature Mine Detector. Photo credit: Schiebel

The major breakthrough and world market leadership was achieved in 1991 when Schiebel won the contract for the AN-19/2 Mine Detecting Set, designated AN/PSS-12, as standard equipment for the US Army. As a consequence, the company has built an excellent international reputation for the development and production of quality products for military and countermine use. The AN-19/2 is the standard mine detector for the US Army as well as many other modern military organisations. Based on this proven technology, Schiebel has gone on to produce a variety of mine detectors to fit specific requirements. One such innovation is the foldable MIMID™ Miniature Mine Detector.



‘First and foremost, thank you. Thank you for providing a durable, lightweight and dependable lifesaving tool. I can say without ANY doubt that your MIMID saved my life and those that trusted me to clear the IEDs and hazards that were present, but unseen. Thanks to your dedicated staff for your quality product and commitment to its mission.’ 56

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

The MIMID™ Miniature Mine Detector is a pulse induction metal detector based on the proven technology of the AN-19/2 mine detector that has been the worldwide standard for minimal-metal detection in both military and humanitarian demining for the past 20 years. The MIMID™ was developed to meet the specific operational requirements of the US Army Humanitarian Demining Team and has been in service since 1997. The detector is waterproof to 30 metres (100 feet) and is suitable for use both on land and by divers in underwater operations. The lightweight, one-piece, foldable design makes it suitable for use by Special Forces or anyone likely to come

into contact with mines. The folded unit can be carried on a belt, in a trouser pocket or in a rucksack, a unique feature allowing operators immediate access to the unit. The MIMID™ can be set up for operation in 30 seconds. Controls are within easy reach of the operator and are similar to those of the AN-19/2. The length of its telescopic pole can be quickly adjusted for operation in upright, kneeling or prone positions. Furthermore, the MIMID™ reduces the need to probe for mines in an emergency or rescue situation by providing individuals with a reliable means to quickly select a safe path through the mined area. It is a valuable asset to demining and humanitarian operations for both specialists and occasional operators. Due to these capabilities and its ability to detect mines with only minimal metal content, the MIMID™ is ideally suited for special military operations where soldiers need to carry heavy equipment loads in remote areas with little, if any, logistic support. The MIMID™ is powered by four standard AA-size cells. The recommended alkaline cells provide around seven hours’ operation. Similar rechargeable nickel-cadmium cells provide approximately five hours’ operation. All recommended cells are available worldwide, as are suitable automatic chargers. Rechargeable cells last for at least one year, if correctly used/ charged. The MIMID™ can also be part of the standard equipment issued with vehicles, similar to a first-aid kit. Its design permits easy operation by all personnel working in countries where mines are a constant threat to personal safety. With the exception of its use by military Special Forces, the MIMID™ is not intended to replace the proven AN-19/2 Mine Detecting Set or ATMID™ All Terrain Mine Detector (see next page), but to supplement mine-detection capability in the theatre. It provides all military and civilian personnel with a practical and easy-touse means of enhancing safety in mined areas. More than 5,000 MIMID™ detectors have been sold since 1997. They are used by a number of armed forces including Israel and the US.



The ATMID™ All Terrain Mine Detector, which is engineered specifically to detect low-metal-content mines in all types of soils and terrain conditions, and the vehicle-based search-and-mark VAMIDS™ complete the product range of Schiebel mine detectors. VAMIDS™ is a versatile, cost-effective system that can quickly locate mines on roads and tracks and in open terrain. The system is capable of operating at speeds of up to 10 kilometres (6 miles) per hour while providing real-time detection. VAMIDS™ is ideally suited to flat, open terrain, including desert, steppe, grassland and bushland. The segmented flexible array can be arrayed in 1-metre (3-foot) steps to a maximum of 4 metres (13 feet). The control unit is housed in a watertight, hardy case, with an anti-vibrationmounted military 48-centimetre (19-inch) rack. It is ideal for vehicular operations and can withstand harsh environmental conditions. A system console is the operator interface that enables the user to quickly and easily set up and operate the system. The marker system has eight spray nozzles per metre, plus two lane marker nozzles at the outer edges, accurately marking the location of targets and the scanned lanes. The power sources available on the carrier vehicle, such as compressed air, electrical supply, hydraulic supply and/or auxiliary

drive are decisive for the additional equipment that is needed to operate the VAMIDS™ marker system. This equipment includes paint pump, paint and water tanks, electric power generator and air compressor. VAMIDS™ can be mounted on a variety of off-road vehicles, preferably on a medium to heavy mine protected vehicle (MPV). The VAMIDS™ draw bed is mounted on a rugged outrigger construction, which assures ground contact of the array in uneven terrain. The typical layout incorporates front arm(s) which can be moved both horizontally and vertically and allow for the draw bed to be turned around a vertical axis as needed. Another option is a rear arm, drawing a draw mat behind. ■

ATMID™ All Terrain Mine Detector. Photo credit: Schiebel

VAMIDS™ Vehicular Array Mine Detection System. Photo credit: Schiebel

For more information please visit



UNMAS – SUPPORTING C-IED OPERATIONS IN SOMALIA The Work of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Support of the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali Police Force By Alan Barlow MBE, Senior Counter-IED Advisor, UNMAS Somalia

Photo above depicts a find of Bomb Making Equipment (BME), recovered as the result of an planned AMISOM search operation targeting the dwelling of an Al Shabaab operative residing within the capital city of Mogadishu.

The United Nations (UN) has coordinated mine action activities within Somalia since 2001, during which time successful independent mine action programmes have been established in both Somaliland and Puntland. This was purely a humanitarian function in response to the mine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) contamination resulting from over 30 years of conflict. However, following a UN assessment in the south and central parts of the country, it was deemed necessary to instigate an emergency mine action response to help mitigate the threat from explosive items. In 2009 the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) deployed staff and commenced operational support to both the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) within the besieged city of Mogadishu. The initial focus was to provide explosive management support to AMISOM troops, who were both ill equipped and lacked any specialist training. However, it soon became

apparent that the recently formed TFG Police Force would also require assistance in developing their capabilities so as to ensure the safety and security of Mogadishu. As a result, the programme quickly developed into a three-pronged approach to including specific support to the humanitarian sector as well as explosive management support to both AMISOM and the security sector. For the latter two, UNMAS provides a wide range of support activities including the coordination and delivery of specialist training, mentor support, equipment resourcing and procurement together with explosive storage and management.


Since 2007, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have been one of the favoured Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) employed by the armed antigovernment group Al Shabaab (AS) as part of its asymmetrical warfare campaign. Throughout 2009, the group was able to inflict substantial casualties



A modified Nokia 1280 mobile telephone recovered from an incident scene.



Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

among the security forces, killing more than 50 soldiers with IEDs. The most notable operation involved a complex attack against the AMISOM Force Headquarters (FHQ) in the September of that year. This attack included the use a vehicleborne IED (VBIED) together with two person-borne IEDs (PBIEDs) to target the AMISOM command element located within its Mogadishu International Airport (MIA) based FHQ, resulting in 22 fatalities including the Deputy Force Commander (DFC). The event demonstrated that AS, given the opportunity, was capable of planning and executing complex attacks against viable targets. Although there was a decline in IED activity during 2010, this figure rose drastically throughout 2011/12 as AS continued to conduct attacks against the TFG, AMISOM and the newly formed Somali Police Force (SPF). Initially, the devices consisted of explosive remnants of war (ERWs) such as a mortars and projectiles being used as the main charge, and initiated by a basic motorcycle alarm system. However, over a period of time AS began to fabricate its own containers to meet its own tactical requirements, and subsequently began to ‘harvest’ the high explosive from the ERW. As a result, AS was then able to add a number of additional capabilities to its IED inventory, including directional fragmentation charges, together with those with the ability to penetrate

vehicle armour. Several incidents have demonstrated the willingness of AS to experiment with different explosive mixtures to further enhance the effects; however, the basic foundation for all these mixtures remained harvested high explosives (RDX/TNT). Although there have been recoveries of home-made explosive (HME), the availability of ERW has resulted in the use of HME remaining somewhat sporadic to date. The preferred TTP of AS has been the use of the radio-controlled IED (RCIED), especially when engaging AMISOM or government vehicles. This has been primarily achieved by the use of a variety of motorcycle alarm systems that, although restricted by a limited range, do provide AS with a basic but effective RCIED capability for an urban conurbation such as Mogadishu. Over the past nine months there has been an increased use of mobile telephones by AS, which is most probably the result of an improved mobile communications network within Somalia. This provides the perpetrators with a more reliable system that has the tactical advantage of being operationally effective over an extended range. In October 2011, a number of pressure plate IEDs (PPIEDs) were recovered as part of a find of bomb-making equipment (BME) on the outskirts of Mogadishu. UN counter-IED (C-IED) staff assessed that this find may indicate a change in the TTPs of AS, and AMISOM subsequently encountered its first PPIED in April 2012. The device had been emplaced on a vulnerable point (VP) on the approach route to a forward operating base (FOB), and where a successful render safe procedure (RSP) by the AMISOM explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team resulted in the recovery of a pressure switch consisting of four hacksaw blades, a motorcycle battery and a large main charge together with an electric detonator. To date, there have been multiple recoveries of PPIEDs incorporating hacksaw blades, all of which follow a similar design. As the AMISOM mission expands well beyond the confines of Mogadishu, and with units now operating in the more remote regions, the PPIED remains a tactical threat in relation to the movement of AMISOM vehicle assets and personnel.



Having identified the emerging IED threat from AS, UNMAS recommended a series of procedures that would lower the target profile of the security forces and subsequently reduce casualty statistics. These force-protection measures included increased standoff, enhanced protection to buildings and VPs, specific IED awareness training and a review of the patrol TTPs being employed on the ground. The rapid implementation of these recommendations had a resounding impact on the effects of IEDs in regard to the security forces, with the casualty figures for 2010 attributing just four fatalities as the direct result of IED activity. However, it was not only the security forces who were being directly affected by the increased use of IEDs by AS; it was also the civilian population within Mogadishu. The number of non-combatants injured or killed by IED activity also continued to rise, and an initial survey conducted by Bells-Pottinger stated that 75 per cent of the civilian population within Mogadishu considered the IED to be the greatest threat to personal safety. A further series of recommendations were made to mitigate the risk for the civilian population, resulting in the latest version of the Bells-Pottinger survey indicating that now only 15 per cent consider the IED as the primary threat to their safety.


The delivery of specialist C-IED training has proved to be a significant element of the UNMAS support mission to both AMISOM and the security sector. Initially, C-IED training was delivered to AMISOM troops as part of a wider deployment training package on arrival within theatre. This had an impact on the operational capacity of the AMISOM EOD teams, as around half of their tour of duty may potentially be spent on training rather than conducting operational tasks. In January 2012, the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) programme took responsibility for all EOD and C-IED pre-deployment training activities, establishing two training centres located in Uganda and Burundi. Although specific ‘in-house’ training is still delivered by UNMAS in Somalia, the shift to external pre-deployment training

ensures that AMISOM troops arrive with the necessary skill set and are able to maximise the time spent committed to operations while in theatre. UNMAS continues to provide IED awareness and post-blast investigation (PBI) training to the SPF so as to ensure that they have the requisite capabilities to undertake their operational function. Given that the SPF will generally provide the first response to any IED incident, it was vital that officers were able to manage and control this type of incident to ensure the safety of others while also retaining valuable evidential material. The delivery of both initial and regular continuation training has ensured that the SPF EOD teams are capable of conducting their own post-blast investigations and recovering IED-related material from the incident scene. As such, these police officers have proved highly effective in this role, and where their efforts in recovering evidence facilitate further technical analysis of the material. Technical assistance and support is provided to both AMISOM and the SPF EOD teams throughout the duration of any operational tasking. Any incident impinging on AMISOM operations will generate the deployment of an AMISOM EOD team, tasked by the UNMAS EOD Control Centre within MIA. The AMISOM EOD team will be accompanied by international mentors whose role is to provide an appropriate level of direction and support while conducting the

The author with Somali Police Force officers after completion of PBI training.




Reporting Year

IED Incidents



Fatalities Total No




















Casualties Total No

































Table 1: Example of UNMAS IED incident and fatality/casualty statistics as of 1 October 2012.

task. Although the SPF generates an independent response to a possible IED incident, remote support is still provided to ensure that all relevant information is obtained and that technical assistance is available to the SPF EOD team leader.




Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012


Accurate reporting remains a vital function so as to ensure that all relevant data from an incident can be captured and is available in support of further analysis and investigation as necessary. On completion of an IED incident, both AMISOM and the SPF will submit an incident report using an IED specific version of the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) documentation. This report will include any imagery taken at the incident scene, together with appropriate mapping of the local and general areas. The reports are then stored on the IMSMA database, which then allows both trend and statistical analysis to be conducted. This process is continually reviewed so as to ensure that the report structure remains user friendly while also ensuring that information relating to the incident, type of device and the TTPs used to facilitate the attack is accurately captured for future reference. The exploitation of recovered IED material is conducted by UN C-IED staff with the cooperation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Recovered material is subjected to a Level 1 investigation, during which the type of device, effects and TTPs will be analysed. Based on these findings, an initial technical report is compiled that is designed to expand on the content of the original IMSMA submission. Where necessary, suitable recommendations may be made regarding the employment of friendly TTPs.

Once the Level 1 investigation has been conducted, the material is subsequently shipped to the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Centre (TEDAC), where a full spectrum of scientific testing is carried out. On receipt of the subsequent report, the information is used as the basis for generating technical feedback relating to the device and its individual components to ensure currency within the C-IED community.


Both AMISOM and the SPF have developed their C-IED capabilities under the technical guidance of UNMAS, which continues to provide support at both the tactical and strategic level to help shape the future C-IED structure of the security forces. With the assistance of its international partners, UNMAS has been able to implement a workable C-IED strategy for which both AMISOM and the SPF maintain shared ownership, and which has proved highly effective in mitigating the IED threat in Somalia. This structure will continue to evolve as new partners continue to provide assistance, ensuring that Somalia inherits an effective C-IED system that is able to support and sustain future security operations. â–

For any queries regarding this article, please contact UNMAS Somalia Programme Director David Bax at ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Barlow spent 26 years in the RAF specialising in EOD/C-IED, and was awarded both the QCB and MBE. He then became the Chief Instructor at the Afghan National Security Forces EOD school, and trained over 2000 students. Alan joined UNMAS in September 2011 as the Senior C-IED Advisor for Somalia.



Photo above: The German Army conducting route clearance in Afghanistan using a Mini MineWolf (MW240).

The changing paradigm of global security and the tactics used by opposing factions has meant that traditional roles in areas of military mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), improvised explosive device (IED) disposal, humanitarian demining and emergency relief are increasingly being interlinked in operational theatres. This article argues that military and civilian humanitarian personnel are encountering similar threats from explosive devices, whether during or after a conflict, and that the requirement for equipment that is flexible enough to deal with the range of present explosive hazards and can prevent operator casualties is ever more paramount. In conflict situations, troops need to protect themselves against hostile fire and minefields, but more frequently have to deal with IEDs being used as weapons of war. In Afghanistan, the current IED threat from insurgents is

causing more casualties to coalition forces than conventional fire. Soldiers need equipment that will help them both to locate and remove IEDs from patrol routes, as well as free up access to larger areas still contaminated with landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) from the previous decades of conflict in the country. In the peacekeeping context, in the immediate aftermath of conflict, peacekeeping forces need equipment for clearing explosive hazards for their own force protection while carrying out their mandated duties. In some theatres, such as South Sudan and Somalia, they are also required to conduct humanitarian demining in order to open up routes and clear contaminated areas for the distribution of aid, and the rehabilitation of the country. In these instances, clearance equipment must also be capable of clearing ground to the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS).



Humanitarian demining using a Mini MineWolf (MW240) with tiller attachment.



Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

In the emergency relief and subsequent reconstruction and development phases following a conflict, civilian agencies (governmental, non-governmental and commercial organisations) are tasked by national authorities, the United Nations or donors to conduct humanitarian demining of hazardous areas. Traditionally, these organisations have used manual deminers, mine detection dogs and machines with flails or tillers to survey and clear large areas of land known, or suspected to be, contaminated with landmines or UXO. In more recent years, humanitarian demining personnel have also had to deal with the threat from scatterable munitions, sophisticated IEDs and hazards from unstable ammunition storage areas, none of which can be dealt with by traditional mechanical means. This has meant an increase in the use of manual clearance procedures with the associated increase in risk to operators. Following civil war or periods of transition, countries that have previously been heavily militarised often have large quantities of munitions stored unsafely that pose hazards to local populations and the emergency relief personnel who respond to explosions from such sites. The devastating explosions at a munitions depot in the Republic of Congo earlier in 2012 led to 282 people being killed and 1,500 injured, highlighting the issue of poorly stored munitions and their impact on innocent civilians. According to Small Arms Survey, in 2011 the average number of ammunition site explosions

across the world was almost four a month, the highest ever annual rate. The aftermath of such explosions can be devastating and dangerous to relief personnel. They require equipment that is strong enough to withstand blast from unstable munitions, and robust enough to remove and sort through rubble efficiently to locate buried munitions. Machines that are also easy to manipulate can be used to remove the munitions to safer locations as part of preventative measures for safer munitions storage. In Libya, the use of scatterable munitions and sophisticated conventional munitions during the recent war now poses a threat to the repair and reconstruction of the country. Unsafe munitions in depots are also a threat, and organisations conducting battle area clearance or demining could use remote-controlled platforms to access unsafe ammunition storage areas or search through rubble in areas already destroyed by NATO air strikes.


The increasingly diverse range of explosive hazards facing both military and humanitarian personnel can certainly be dealt with safely and efficiently by using machines. Machines are not new and have always had the advantage of reducing EOD/IED/mine clearance operator casualties compared to manual disposal. However, they can be expensive to procure and maintain, and often pose logistical challenges in the remote and environmentally challenging locations in which they are usually required. In conflict scenarios, troops require easily manoeuvrable EOD equipment that will assist rather than hinder their primary operational task. For humanitarian organisations it is often justifying the cost outlay rather than manoeuvrability that deters the use of machines over people in EOD, IED and landmine clearance, but this can be detrimental to the life expectancy of the EOD technician. The change in nature of recent conflicts and the increasing and more sophisticated use of IEDs and other weapons pose new threats to military forces and humanitarian organisations. A more progressive approach needs to be developed by using mechanical solutions if loss of life is going to be minimised in the future.


Present solutions to combat the continual threat from booby-trapped UXO and IEDs are constantly being evaluated and updated. IED ‘robotic’ machines have been around for many years and are being developed to detect and disrupt devices in the urban and rural Afghan countryside. Some NATO forces are using rollers for route proving and area verification while others use a flail. The German Army uses a groundpenetrating radar detector on a remotecontrolled vehicle and a second vehicle with a manipulator. The interesting fact about all of the above applications, plus some others which are still classified, is that they are all ‘tools’ which are basically operated from a remotecontrolled platform to find, locate and disrupt IEDs in the various scenarios that the coalition forces operate in. All are accepted methods for counter-IED (C-IED) operations, but not all are always available to the coalition commander on the ground, who may only have the one tool available. This limitation gives the insurgent the advantage, as the C-IED procedure will always be known, and the insurgent can then alternate his plan of attack giving the element of surprise and a higher chance of success if he knows how the coalition commander will react. To remove this advantage, it might be worth considering having one remote platform with several tools or attachments to choose from, so that each time the local commander deploys his platform he can alternate his ‘tool’ depending on a known threat or tactical situation. If, for example, the remote platform is armoured against small arms fire, can take the blast from detonation to the front, has a good remote range of 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) or more with suitable camera systems, then it only needs the tool to complete the operation. The tools can be almost anything already out there: small disruptors, mechanical arms and grippers, flails, tillers, rollers, dozer blades and varying types of detectors.


One solution developed by Swiss company MineWolf Systems has been the production of multi-purpose clearance systems to address all potential explosive hazards that may be encountered ‘in the field’. Its range of German-manufactured

machines, which were initially developed for the humanitarian demining market, now comes with a selection of interchangeable tools for the clearance of various explosive devices in a Swiss Army knife toolbox concept. MineWolf Systems has developed the MW240, a small, versatile platform that can support a selection of various tools and is currently operational in 15 countries. The MW240, known as the Mini MineWolf, is a lightweight tracked vehicle initially designed to meet the requirement of the humanitarian demining market for a smaller, more compact and cheaper version of its flagship MineWolf machine (MW370). It is a remote-controlled vehicle that weighs around 8.5 tonnes and can be fitted with an optional remote video guidance system. The complete system and its supporting workshop can be accommodated inside a 6-metre (20-foot) ISO container for storage and transportation without the need to detach the working tools, thereby increasing mobility in restricted areas. The standard MW240 platform is supplied with interchangeable flail or tiller option to suit different mine threats, and can clear up to 12,000 square metres (129,167 square feet) per day depending on ground and vegetation conditions. The interchangeable ‘tool’ concept has made it popular with demining organisations wishing to reduce downtime by changing tools after detonation, keeping the platform operational. Building on its toolbox concept and in response to the market need for a remote controlled solution for IED removal, MineWolf Systems developed a robotic manipulator arm attachment for IED clearance that can be interchanged with the tiller and flail. In 2010, the British and Germany armies both decided to procure this multi-purpose mechanical solution. After a series of rigorous tests and some specific design changes, the British Army purchased 10 MW240 systems, and issued them with the flail, tiller and robotic arm attachments to the Corps of Engineers who are using them for area proving and the removal of vegetation, low obstacles, mines and IEDs. The Royal Engineer operators use the robotic arm and vegetation cutter attachment to remove hedges, trees and other vegetation in and around ditches that harbour or provide cover for the

A British Army MW240 with robotic arm and vegetation cutting tool clearing IEDs in Afghanistan.




MW240s were issued to EOD personnel to work directly on routes suspected or known to have IEDs present using the robotic arm and gripperbucket. As part of the German Route Clearance Package in Afghanistan, the Mini MineWolf clears any item detected by the preceding detection machine. In the first few months of operation, the first two systems deployed cleared over 40 IEDs. The use of separate detection and clearance vehicles has raised the issue whether this could instead be combined on one vehicle, and the company is currently developing a detection tool that can be added to the MW240 system. The other interchangeable attachments currently available include the dozer shield, bucket, sifter and forklift, which the German Army is also using for more general engineering tasks back at camp.

MineWolf Systems’ gripperbucket tool handling a suspect device.

Integrated camera system on an MW240 for video-guided remote operation.


Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

laying of IEDs. This is done remotely from a Husky vehicle using the remote camera system and a large monitor. The arm can then be fitted with the gripperbucket attachment for the actual removal of known or suspicious items. The robotic arm can be exchanged for flail or tiller if the verification of larger suspected areas is required. The German Army also conducted rigorous testing of the MW240 and bought seven systems with a variety of attachments for route clearance, C-IED and general engineering tasks. The


The use of remote-controlled machines for route clearance and IED disposal removes the operator from the device and the immediate danger area as he can investigate, probe and disrupt suspected known IEDs from a distance. With its four-screen display and zoom, the camera system clearly helps operators assess any suspect device, route or area prior to taking followup action. This methodology not only saves lives of counter-insurgent forces, but also expedites safety and security while operating in a potentially hostile environment. Multi-purpose machines that can clear land of legacy landmines and UXO from previous conflicts as well as recently laid IEDs are also rendering land safe and improving conditions for local inhabitants. With the withdrawal of coalition forces in Afghanistan over the next few years, these weapons will become ‘legacy’ IEDs that will continue to be a serious hazard to civilians and an obstacle to the rehabilitation and development of the country for years to come. Unlike traditional minefields or battle areas containing UXO, the unknown and improvised nature of IEDs makes manual clearance more hazardous. The placement of IEDs also tends to be in areas that traditional mechanical tools, such as flails and tillers, cannot access. Humanitarian organisations will need to


work remotely if the loss of life is to be minimised, and will increasingly require the tools used by the military to deal with these sophisticated devices. The multi-purpose concept is already in operation in other countries such as Somalia, where IEDs were used extensively by Al Shabab. Two Medium Minewolf (MW330) machines are now being used by peacekeeping forces to clear IEDs, open up routes and enable humanitarian operations to proceed. The MW330s have the same versatility as the MW240 and are fitted with the dozer blade for clearing debris and suspected devices from roads, and with the tiller attachment to conduct humanitarian demining. The MW330 can also have the robotic arm attached for the remote manipulation of devices. It can be manually operated with an armoured cab protecting the operator, or remote controlled, making it suitable for use in areas where there is risk from mine/ IED blasts and also still some risk from conventional fire.


There is an obvious advantage to military and humanitarian operators of having an armoured machine in their fleet that can be fitted with different tools depending on the type of hazard faced: a tiller or flail when required to process mine contaminated land to international standards; a robotic manipulator arm to remove suspicious explosive devices; or a dozer blade and bucket to remove larger obstacles from suspected areas. A fully remote-controlled vehicle which is high-tech enough to be manipulated using camera systems yet robust enough to withstand blasts from anti-tank mines or IEDs would not be idle for long in any conflict or post-conflict environment. MineWolf Systems’ multi-purpose concept offers an organisation operator safety as well as the flexibility of one machine for many tasks. MineWolf products are tested to military standards and are proven and operational in over 20 countries. The company has built its reputation on providing quality products with effective service support to keep machines operational in the toughest conditions. It expands its product portfolio in response to emerging needs in the field, and is currently developing additional attachments to its existing

prime movers for new applications such as range clearance, and responding to recent interest in the development of a smaller, more agile platform with a similar multi-purpose role. With the list of EOD operator casualties ever growing, investment in progressive mechanical applications for IED/EOD and mine clearance is critical. An investment in armoured vehicles that can be used for a variety of tasks, can be transported easily, controlled remotely and are robust enough to deal with the impact from explosions is a value-for-money option for both military and humanitarian organisations. â–

A Medium MineWolf (MW330) with dozer shield clearing debris in Somalia.


Since 1994, Belinda Goslin has worked in management and advisory positions in the humanitarian mine action sector, for the UN, Cranfield University, several NGOs and commercial companies and latterly, as a freelance consultant. This article is written based on her recent work with MineWolf Systems.

For more information please visit:



Counter IED TRAINING FORUM Identifying and Eliminating the IED Threat: Risks at Home and Abroad January 28-30, 2013 | Washington, D.C ALL NEW THIS YEAR: • CIED’s largest international audience ever with over five confirmed country participants! • Homeland security: Hear from law enforcement officers, EOD officers and other domestic security forces • CBRNE briefs: Overlapping policies and strategies in threat containment • Instruction on the Dismounted Fight and overcoming its unique difficulties

FEATURING PRESENTATIONS FROM LEADING EXPERTS INCLUDING: • Colonel Santiago San Antonio, Director, Counter Improvised Explosive Devices COE, NATO • Captain Joseph Polanin, USN, Commanding Officer, Navy School of Ordnance Disposal • Pablo Esteban Parra Gallego, Project Manager, Presidential Program for Mine Action, Colombia Mine-Action Center • Lisa Albuquerque, Program Manager, Naval Expeditionary Dog Program, ONR • Edwin Bundy, Program Manager, TSWG IDD Subgroup and EOD/LIC Program, CTTSO, OSD • Chris Travis, Bomb Squad Commander, Tacoma Police Department

IN-DEPTH DISCUSSIONS WILL: • Provide Insight into the Asia-Pacific shift and PACOM’s growing influence • Cover domestic training capabilities and current status of law enforcement readiness • Reveal challenges faced by international communities and their means to diffuse, defeat and deter IED threats

ww w . C o u n t


PEARSON ENGINEERING ROUTE OPENING AND CLEARING CAPABILITY (PEROCC) PEROCC provides a single-platform solution to the requirements of counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) activity through the application of a suite of tools to a chassis, with the capability to detect explosive threats and proof routes at tempo while maintaining a high level of self-protection. By Pearson Engineering Ltd

Photo above: PEROCC, showing arm deployed with ripper tool mounted.

Pearson Engineering has long espoused the concept of a single vehicle solution for tactical C-IED requirements. The solution developed has taken a holistic view of dealing with IEDs to improve upon and advance the state of the art of existing capabilities relating to detection and pre-detonation of IEDs while mounted, reducing the need to dismount to perform any of these functions. PEROCC is the application of a suite of tools applied to a chassis. It is designed, developed, manufactured and tested to provide an operationally relevant and technically feasible advance in capability compared to existing fielded systems. Pearson Engineering believes that a wider range of IED defeat requirements

can be met using a single platform to conduct mounted pre-detonation and detection tasks more efficiently and at higher tempo than is currently being achieved.


PEROCC has been specifically developed to provide clear and significant improvements over existing systems. A commercially available pivot steer wheeled loader was selected as the optimum platform to integrate improved detection and pre-detonation capabilities. The platform has been armoured against ballistic and blast threats, provided with a self-defence capability and a command and control suite.




The system is inherently reliable through the use of commercially available sub systems as the basis for vehicle build. The engine, cooling pack, transmission, drive train and steering control are all directly migrated from a commercial donor vehicle into the final assembly. This approach ensures proven reliability, with a robust, supportable, economic base for PEROCC.


PEROCC underside showing pivot steer architecture, axle layout, V-shaped hull and front roller.

PEROCC is fitted for a remote weapon station (RWS) mounted on the roof of the cab. The RWS is provided with day and night cameras fitted to the slew mount. This enables the crew to control the RWS to give full 360-degree situational awareness through the RWS display and provide self-protection to the host vehicle.


PEROCC crew configuration, shown with arm deployed and overhead weapon station.

PEROCC with arm deployed with ripper tooth attachment. 70

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

The powerful side-mounted backhoe interrogation arm, based on a commercially available system, provides a flexible platform to determine the location of emplaced IEDs and IED components from a safe stand-off distance. This reduces the need for soldiers to dismount to inspect suspect areas and enables faster, more effective and safer electronic detection. The PEROCC arm has the ability to lift 1,500 kilogrammes (3,307 lbs) at 7.5 metres (24.5 feet), and can exert a maximum dig force of 5,000 kilogrammes (11,023 lbs) at 7 metres (23 feet). This is significantly more than existing interrogation arms, and enables improved pre-detonation and detection to be achieved at greater speed and in a greater variety of ground conditions. The capability of the arm reduces the need to dismount soldiers to detect IEDs. A quick hitch capability means that the arm can be used to inspect, interrogate, neutralise and move suspect objects at a safe distance in front of the vehicle when mounted with one of the tools, including a long-reach ripper tooth, grapple, spork and bucket. Survivability of the arm is improved through the use of a specially designed ripper tool that sheers at a specific point to protect the arm in the event of a blast.



Improved pre-detonation is achieved by integrating a full-width mine roller that triggers IED devices using a higher downward pressure than is possible with existing rollers used with mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) class vehicles. The 4-metre (13-foot) wide fullwidth roller applies significantly more downward force per wheel than currently employed rollers. This improvement allows for growth potential to defeat higher pressure activated threats such as the TM62 mine or enhanced IEDs. PEROCC offers a heavy effect in a lighter-weight package because of the optimisation between platform and roller.


PEROCC also offers significant improvement in the survivability of the pre-detonation capability. In the event of a blast, damaging loads are minimised to the supporting roller fabrications through a frangible joint. The rollers can also be jettisoned from under armour. The roller gangs can be quickly selfrepaired using one of the three on-board replacement roller banks without the need to return to base. This capability is not available on any of the existing rollers and allows the system to selfrepair using the interrogation arm, in stride, and continue with the mission at tempo.

Flexibility is also provided with the use of a three-point hydraulically operated quick hitch at the front and rear of the system, allowing the PEROCC configuration to include additional inservice front and rear equipment, for example dozer, GPR, cyclone blower. If the quick hitch is used to reconfigure the system to make use of frontend equipment other than the roller, survivability of the system is maintained through the use of Blast of Wheels (BOWs). In the event of an IED detonating under one of the vehicle wheels, the BOWs will detach, protecting the crew from life-threatening accelerations. PEROCC includes four BOWs and carries one complete assembly that can be fitted in-stride, post-blast, within 30 minutes using the powerful backhoe interrogation arm. The arm is fitted with a hydraulic quick coupler that allows rapid changing between arm tools, a feature that contributes to the proposition that predetonation and detection tasks can be carried out more efficiently and at higher tempo than is currently being achieved. Further improved detection of IEDs is offered by the ability to integrate existing or emerging detection capabilities on the same platform as the fullwidth roller. An arm-mounted detector offering significantly improved detection capabilities than a handheld detector is integrated into the system.


Front and rear rollers showing full-width coverage.





PEROCC is operated by three crew: driver/arm operator, gunner and commander. The standard operating controls from the base vehicle are retained in the driving position at the front of the crew compartment. The driver controls the vehicle and operates the roller system and arm; the gunner is positioned immediately behind the driver and controls the overhead weapon station; and the commander sits in the highest position at the rear of the crew compartment in order to maximise situational awareness. Both gunner and commander can monitor GPR equipment. All crew members have excellent allround visibility and simultaneous access to indirect vision cameras.


Significant development and testing has already been undertaken to allow the manufacture of a prototype vehicle. Major milestones completed include: • Integration of a three-man armoured crew cab into a blast-protected v-hull on the front half of the vehicle • Blast tests have been carried out that assess crew protection from threats defined by STANAG 4569, level 3. • Integration of a proven blastattenuation system for the crew • Initial integration of interrogation arm, including detector head and other tools • Integration of remote weapon station • Integration of front and rear quick hitch and roller. An additional test mule vehicle was produced at the beginning of 2012 to represent certain features of the PEROCC concept. Specifically, the test mule vehicle was designed to represent the front and rear roller, front and rear v-hull profile, interrogation arm and the overall platform dynamics. These features were subsequently assessed through the following trials: • Preliminary roller effectiveness trials against pressure fused IEDs and anti-tank AT mine threats such as the TM62 series • Skip trial to assess the ability of the roller to contour undulating ground at speed


Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

• Ride and handling assessment, to quantify the effect of the vehicle dynamics on general automotive manoeuvres • Braking assessment • NATO lane change • Steady-state cornering • Soft ground mobility assessment • Longitudinal gradient assessment • Blast testing • Self-reparability assessment on the roller gang, using the vehiclemounted interrogation arm. Further development and testing is now being undertaken before a comprehensive test programme is carried out. ■


Pearson Engineering was founded on a commitment to provide world-class advanced engineering solutions to meet the challenges faced by modern armed forces. Its particular expertise is the development and supply of specialised counter-mine and combat engineer equipment for armoured fighting vehicles. As well as the recently introduced PEROCC, products include: the Mine Plough for breaching minefields; the Combat Dozer for earthmoving tasks; the Surface Clearance Device for clearing surface laid mines from routes and wide areas; the Mine Roller to explode buried pressure fused explosive devices; the Lane Marking System to mark a clear lane or area; the Magnetic Signature Duplicator to explode magnetically fused explosive devices; and the Bridge Launch Mechanism - rapid bridge laying.

For more information please visit


BOXER ─ A MAXIMUM PROTECTED 8 X 8 MULTI-ROLE ARMOURED VEHICLE Born before the era of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the initial requirements for the BOXER, formulated in 1993 by France and Germany who were seeking international cooperation to develop a multi-role armoured vehicle, did not indicate any protection against this threat. However, as troops’ encounters with IEDs have increased, and technology to protect against them has improved, the BOXER concept has now been adjusted for use in more recent conflicts. By Jurjen Hoekstra, Programme Management Support Officer (PMSO), OCCAR

Photos: © Mediendatabank Bundeswehr

The BOXER is a new-generation 8x8 allterrain heavily armoured utility vehicle being produced by the ARTEC consortium in nine different vehicle variants for Germany and the Netherlands. The BOXER Programme is managed by the international Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR). The vehicle provides balanced capabilities of transport capacity, mobility, protection, survivability, growth potential and efficient lifecycle costs. It can operate in high-intensity conflict, in rapidreaction peace support missions, and in humanitarian operations worldwide, offering improved capabilities and higher levels of performance and protection than other 8 x 8 vehicles on the market.

THE BOXER PROGRAMME Once it became clear, in 1995, that the BOXER should be a wheeled vehicle, more stringent requirements were formulated. The vehicle would consist of a basic drive module, and by adding a mission-specific module on to the drive module, multiple vehicle types could be designed. The UK found the BOXER Programme interesting enough for its own forces and joined in 1996. The same year, France decided to leave the programme and continue with its own development, which resulted in the VBCI armoured vehicle for infantry combat. The Netherlands was also looking to replace part of its fleet of (tracked) armoured vehicles, and became the third



now producing the German command post, some ambulances and all of the Netherlands versions.




Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

member in 2001. Simultaneously, the newly formed international organisation OCCAR was requested to execute the management of the development of the BOXER vehicles. Based upon their experiences, in 2004 the UK decided that they needed a different type of vehicle and left the programme, now leaving Germany and the Netherlands as cooperating partners under the OCCAR umbrella. In 2006 OCCAR placed an order with the ARTEC consortium for 472 BOXER vehicles in various vehicle types for both nations, leaving it with the task of managing the delivery of the BOXERs from 2009 to 2016. ARTEC, formed by parent companies Kraus-Maffei Wegman (KMW), Rheinmetall Landsysteme (RLS) and STORK PWV, designed four versions for Germany and five for the Netherlands. For Germany, KMW produces the driver training vehicle, an ambulance and an armoured personnel carrier, while RLS produces the fourth German BOXER version, a command post. RLS will also produce some of the German ambulances. In the Netherlands, all versions (driver training vehicle, ambulance, cargo, command post and engineering group) were initially to be produced by STORK PWV. However, some years ago RLS took over STORK PWV as Rheinmetall Netherlands and, more recently, has formed a joint venture with MAN: Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicle (RMMV). RMMV is

The BOXER is characterised by its excellent qualities in the areas of performance, protection, mobility and modularity. It is the combination of the high level of quality in each of these areas that gives it such great survivability and maximum protection for its crew. The cross-country mobility of the BOXER has been developed for nearly any terrain and the most extreme environmental conditions, and was tested in cold climate conditions to -46°C (–50.8˚F) and in the hot desert in Australia to +56°C (132.8˚F). With a maximum combat weight of 36.5 tons, the vehicle is capable of driving with its independent wheel suspension at a maximum speed of 103 kilometres (64 miles) per hour. It has a permanent 8 x 8 drive with lockable differentials on all axles, and an off-road logic in the ABS, combined with a central tyre inflation system and run-flat tyres. The powerful V8 530 KW (720 HP) gives the BOXER a maximum range of 1,050 kilometres (652 miles), and the engine can be removed and replaced in the field within 30 minutes. German users have already experienced the unique performance of the BOXER in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan. The vehicles can be delivered with various weapons ranging from 12.7-millimetre (0.5-inch) heavy machine guns to 40-millimetre (1.6-inch) grenade launchers for self-protection, or even a 30-millimetre canon in combination with a coaxial 7.62-millimetre (0.3-inch) machine gun for the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) version. The weapons on most versions are remote-controlled from within the vehicle by the gunner, who can track targets through his day-sight, thermal or infrared cameras. The camera images are displayed on the weapons system’s screen. A secondary screen provides the commander with all the necessary information to decide on the course of action. ARTEC offers several other weapon options such as IFF, and laser warning and anti-tank guided missile systems. The BOXER was designed with


maximum survivability in mind, and a multi-layer floor concept in combination with a safety cell to minimise the risk of a catastrophic kill by mines or from an IED attack was therefore chosen. Even after a multi-hit, the BOXER offers sufficient residual mobility. The driver in the driver module, and the rest of the crew in the mission module, are operating under full armour, with the driver area partially covered, and the crew compartment fully covered, with spall liner. AP and AT mines are countered by a specially shaped bottom and floor protection. A new generation of stealth design, low acoustic, hardly any infrared or radar signatures add to the level of survivability and protection. The BOXER therefore offers the highest protection in its class against ballistic threats such as heavy machine guns, automatic mediumcalibre cannons, bomblets and artillery fragments. If, despite all this protection, a fire arises in the engine or the crew compartment, fire-extinguishing systems assist in keeping the vehicle running and the crew protected. ARTEC also offers optional reactive and active protection packages against rocketpropelled grenades (RPGs) and even against heavy fragments, eg TRMP6/7. Passive armour (including ceramics), reactive armour and active systems can be mounted to adjust the vehicle for all kinds of mission threats. The BOXER also offers the possibility of adjusting the survivability level when in the future better technologies offer even more protection. For deployment in Afghanistan, further improvements to combat IEDs have recently been made by reinforcing the mission module and creating extra protection against mines, resulting in the BOXER A1 versions. Such improvements ensure soldiers can carry out their tasks under the best possible protection. The BOXER reaches a maximum tactical value for soldiers in operations such as those of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The vehicle consists of a basic drive module on which various mission modules can be placed that decide the type of vehicle. This unique concept of modularity and interchangeability, leaves room to develop other BOXER vehicle types in future. ARTEC offers,

for example, an IFV and a battle damage repair version. The exchange of a mission module can be completed within 30 minutes in the field (‘click and drive’). The modular principle also provides a basis for pooling and flexibility in deployment. Flexibility and cost reduction for future customers or upgrades for existing customers make the vehicle fit for any future requirement. The BOXER also excels in areas other than survivability and protection. It has a 14 cubic metres (494 cubic feet) protected volume with sufficient growth potential. The mission module holds up to 10 crew. The payload can be suited to the customer’s requirements, and equipment, armament and versions can be modified for future military roles. Even though Germany and the Netherlands each have an ambulance and a command post version, they are based upon each nation’s different requirements, and the interior and weaponry differ significantly. They are built by three ARTEC subsidiaries in two countries, however the mission modules can still be exchanged with any drive module. The drive module and an exchangeable mission module concept makes the BOXER a flexible military vehicle, thus ensuring maximum strategic and tactical deployability in a wide range of operational scenarios.



After lengthy and strenuous testing of the




German prototypes, series production for Germany was started in 2009 and some 150 vehicles are now in use. Five German vehicles were operating in Afghanistan from August 2011, and in 2012 Germany expanded the number of BOXERs in operation there to close to 30 vehicles. Development of the Netherlands BOXERs has now been adjusted to the latest requirements, and further qualification of four of the five versions for the Netherlands will continue until 2014. The first Netherlands driver trainer BOXER will be delivered in the first quarter of 2013. The BOXER is designed for an in-service lifetime of some 30 years.

Flexible interior design of mission module. 76

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

OCCAR is an international organisation whose core business is the through-life management of collaborative defence equipment programmes such as BOXER. The organisation was established by means of a convention (equivalent to an international treaty) in 2001. The headquarters is situated in Bonn, and subsidiaries for various programmes are situated in Paris, Toulouse, Rome, Seville and La Spezi. OCCAR is a centre of excellence in its business domain and facilitates and manages collaborative European Armament Programmes and Technology Demonstrator Programmes through their lifecycles. This vision is underpinned by the implementation of a comprehensive management framework, comprising a Quality Management System, which is certified against the requirements of ISO 9001:2008. The organisation currently has six member nations: Belgium, France, Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain. However, Finland, Sweden, Poland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Turkey are also participating in one or more OCCAR programmes. OCCAR has built up its experience over the years with the contributions of many experts of several nations in every field of expertise in the acquisition and programme management business, and this has resulted in a unique set of bestpractice programme management skills.


As in the case of the BOXER Programme for Germany and the Netherlands, member nations mutually benefit from the knowledge and expertise at OCCAR and are able to keep their national project teams ‘lean’. The BOXER Programme represents a major bi-national cooperation between Germany and the Netherlands, which will bring great operational benefits including army interoperability, as well as financial savings. Sharing of development costs, technologies and economies of scale in production are just some of the other major attractions and benefits of this cooperation. ■

For additional information on OCCAR and the programmes managed by OCCAR:



Modularität Adjustable versions through modular concept.

OTHER OCCAR PROGRAMMES A400M – A Tactical and Strategic Airlifter The A 400 M aircraft meets the demands of efficient, all-terrain, transport of modern military operations: in all weather, day and night, for troops, as a tanker or for equipment up to the size of helicopters. COBRA – Weapon Locating System Location of weapon systems, registration and adjustment of friendly firings, creation of battlefield data, communication with battle forces – COBRA (COunter Battery RAdar) is a collaborative long-range battlefield radar programme. ESSOR – European Secure Software defined Radio The main scope of this project is to provide an architecture of software defined radio (SDR) for military purposes.


FREMM – Fregate Europee Multi-Missione The FREMM Programme is the most ambitious and innovative European naval defence project and will develop and build frigates for France and Italy. FSAF and munitions for the Principal Anti Air Missle System (PAAMS) The FSAF is the name for a whole family of surface-to-air anti-missile systems, meeting the demands of naval or army defence operations. MUSIS – Federating Activities Federating Activities will enable interconnection with Multinational Space-based Imaging System for Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Observation (MUSIS) components and orchestration of their respective use. The B1 phase aims at defining the architecture of a ground system. TIGER – A New Generation of Helicopters The TIGER multi-role combat helicopter is designed to handle a wide range of demanding helicopter missions.

Jurjen Hoekstra is currently Programme Management Support Officer (PMSO) at OCCAR, and oversees qualification, planning, reporting and contracts for the BOXER project. Military by profession, he previously worked in development and acquisition as a test leader in telecommunications projects, and also in command, control, communication, computer and information system (C4I) projects.


International Security for a Modern World

CTX 2013 brings together over 8,500 attendees from critical national infrastructure operators, police & law enforcement officers, private sector organisations, Government protection agencies to international military procurement officials. The IEDD Demonstration Showcase & Workshop Zone is the ideal platform to discover products and solutions to counter IEDD attacks.

• Discover new products on the show floor in our live demonstration area • Explore the latest surveillance detection techniques and procedures • Deliver in-depth analysis prevention methods within our dedicated workshop theatre • Collaborate resources and knowledge with industry members to combat future threats • Network with old and new contacts to increase preparedness and success in the field

For more information on exhibiting or visiting the IEDD Zone contact us at: or +44 (0) 20 7384 7797 Co-Located with

Lead Media Partner



TOWARDS BETTER BLAST MITIGATION PRACTICE Improvements in personal protection and medical care have resulted in increasing numbers of improvised explosive device (IED) casualties surviving with complex lower-limb injuries, often leading to long-term disability. In collaboration with military trauma surgeons, we at Imperial College London are developing and utilising traumatic injury simulation in an attempt to improve blast mitigation. By Dr Spyros Masouros, ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity Research Fellow, Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London and Professor Anthony MJ Bull, Director of the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies, Imperial College London


One of the most significant deficits in vehicle explosion protection research has been the dearth of clinical information on in-vehicle blast casualties. Central to the success of any mitigation system is the ability not only to protect the soldier from lethal injuries, but also to reduce the possibility of long-term harm. In order to achieve this aim, a fundamental requirement is to define accurately the injury profile that is likely to result in disability in our young, highly active military population. Defence research organisations have often resorted to extrapolate injury criteria from automotive industry data. However it is apparent that military blast injuries are not similar to road-traffic accidents and the functional requirements of our population are likely to be significantly different. Clinical analysis of 63 casualties (89 lower limbs) injured in vehicle explosions conducted by military

surgeons embedded in our research group demonstrated that almost three years post injury, only 9 (14%) of the casualties were able to return to full military duty, and that only 23 (25%) of the 89 lower limbs were clinically asymptomatic (Ramasamy et al. 2012) – see Figure 1. Specifically for casualties with calcaneal injuries, the rate of amputation was 45%, and the return to duty at final followup was 6% (Ramasamy et al. 2011c). Furthermore, using this clinical evidence we were able to identify means of correlating injury severity with outcome (Ramasamy et al. 2012). In an analysis of casualties of the Rhodesian Bush War (1972–80), where numerous anti-vehicle mines were laid, we found that simple modifications in vehicles can have a significant effect on reducing injury and fatality rates (Ramasamy et al. 2011a). By looking at the data of casualties admitted to hospital from a six-month period in Afghanistan, we identified zones of injury,

Figure 1: Casualties with lower-limb injuries from vehicle explosions.



Figure 2: The biomechanical modelling approach.

and stipulated on the mechanisms that might have caused them. This allowed us to identify two distinct injury groups based on the injurious environment (Ramasamy et al. 2011b). Such analyses of casualty data from the theatres of operation present a fantastic opportunity to apply forensic biomechanics in order to understand the underlying mechanisms and therefore design better mitigation and surgical reconstruction strategies.


Figure 3: The traumatic injury simulator (AnUBIS) is able to simulate the loading environment transferred to the lower limb from the floor of a vehicle when attacked by an AV mine.


Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

Experimental and computational models of human injury and of mitigation technologies are necessary in order to understand the physical mechanisms involved and to allow for developing new and improved evaluation criteria, techniques, materials and designs in a cost-efficient manner. Full-scale experiments (e.g. the combat boot,

the vehicle, the human leg) give us an understanding of the whole ‘structure’ under fairly controlled, repeatable conditions; however, these are expensive, time consuming and labour intensive, albeit invaluable. Individualcomponent experiments (e.g. materials testing of combat boot components, vehicle components, and soft and skeletal human components) are well controlled and repeatable, allowing us to understand component behaviour, and therefore to build accurate computational models able to predict the behaviour of the ‘structure’ based on the interactions of its components. Computational models that have been validated against relevant experiments allow for multiple virtual experiments to be conducted in a cost-efficient, repeatable, wellcontrolled manner. They allow us to alter, inexpensively, parameters related to geometry, materials and environment, and to look at their effect on overall behaviour; hence, they allow us to experiment with novel designs and material combinations that could potentially result in novel and better mitigation strategies.


The Anti-vehicle Underbelly Blast Injury Simulator (AnUBIS) is a pneumatically driven device able to drive a 42-kilogram (92.5 lbs) plate up to velocities seen in the floor of vehicles when targeted by a mine (Figure 3). It is therefore capable of simulating the loading environment a vehicle occupant’s leg will face. By combining multiple-sensor data, high-



speed video, and medical imaging, the conditions causing, and the mechanism and the severity of, the injury sustained by the leg can be quantified. This information is vital in order to inform and validate the computational models, to assess the effect of leg orientation and positioning on injury severity, to assess the biofidelity of surrogates, and to assess the effectiveness of full-scale mitigation technologies in reducing injury severity.

with cadaveric legs in postures that simulate the seated, standing (neutral), standing with a locked knee joint (hyperextended) and braced (knee joint flexed by 20°) postures. The results were quantified by clinically scoring the injuries sustained and by using strain gauges bonded directly on the skeleton. The standing postures sustained significantly more severe injuries compared to those at which the knee was bent (seated and braced; Figure 4).


Computational modelling

Clinical and anecdotal evidence from the theatres of operation have led us to hypothesise that the seated posture, at which anthropometric test devices (ATDs, or dummies) are placed in operational vehicle fitness tests, is the least severe of possible postures within a vehicle. We conducted tests in AnUBIS

A computational model of the lower extremity allows us to conduct multiple virtual experiments in order to assess behaviour under various impact conditions, simulating those seen in the theatres of operation. The geometry of a 50th percentile male’s leg has been reconstructed utilising medical imaging and special software (Figure 5).










Figure 4: Response of cadaveric legs when imparted with 500 Joules in AnUBIS. The strain response at the heel shows that the seated and braced occupant does not sustain any injury, whereas the standing occupants sustain fractures (sharp reduction and noise of signal thereafter). Clinical scoring of the outcome using the foot and ankle severity scale (FASS) shows that the standing postures sustain disabling injuries (FASS > 4).

Figure 5: Computer model of the leg. It includes 22 individual bones, and 63 individual ligaments and tendons.



Figure 6: Knee ligaments tested in tension. They appear sensitive to loading rate; specifically, as the rate increases, their modulus (or resistance to lengthening) increases. Figure 7: The sole of the combat boot was tested under impact and the experiment modelled computationally. The individual material layers of the boots were tested to acquire their material and shockabsorbing behaviour. This serves as an input to the computer models, but also allows for deep insight into differences in macroscopic behaviour (for example, the drop-rig test).


Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

In order for the behaviour of a computational model to be biofidelic, accurate material models of its components’ behaviour are mandatory. Whereas skeletal and soft tissue behaviour is fairly well understood in slow loading-rate conditions, this is not the case in higher loading-rate conditions, such as those seen in blast. We are currently testing ligaments and bones across a range of loading rates in order to quantify their material behaviour (Figure 6).


We have also been testing combat boots currently deployed in the theatres

of operation (Figure 7). The sole of the boots was impacted in a drop-weight test rig and its behaviour under impact was quantified (Newell et al. 2011). The individual components of the boots were also tested in order to quantify their material behaviour; this was used as an input into the computational models of the boot, and the drop-weight experiment was simulated computationally with success. The computational model of the boot can then be combined with that of the leg to investigate the boot’s role in extremity injury. We are currently evaluating shock-attenuating materials that can be used in future boot and vehicle designs.



The sole of the combat boots was also tested using anthropometric test devices (ATDs) (Figure 8). Two types of ATD legs were used; the conventional leg (Hybrid-III) and the recently developed MIL-Lx. The latter has been tuned for axial impact, by incorporating a long compliant element along the tibial shaft, and is therefore recognised as more biofidelic than the Hybrid-III. The sole of each combat boot was secured to the foot of the ATD leg, and the leg was positioned at a seated posture on AnUBIS, as prescribed by the NATO standard for military vehicle fitness testing. Tests were carried out utilising the same threat as in the cadaveric experiments described earlier. Results show that the response between boots was significantly different under the Hybrid-III platform, but similar under the MIL-Lx platform. Interestingly, the lower tibial load in all ATD experiments

was above the NATO-proposed threshold value for an acceptable risk of injury, while all our cadaveric tests for the same posture and threat did not present any injury above the acceptable level. This suggests that the NATO-proposed threshold is likely to be conservative. Currently, vehicle mitigation systems are being evaluated by most nations using the conventional, Hybrid-III leg. Our results suggest that the HybridIII leg is likely to be over-predicting the effects of mitigation systems on the resulting force transmitted through to the leg, and therefore the plausible risk of a disabling injury to the vehicle occupant. We are currently conducting a series of experimental and numerical simulations to elucidate the discrepancies between the ATD designs and their correlation to the response of the human lower limb.


Figure 8: The combat boot under the Hybrid-III leg (left) and under the MIL-Lx leg (right). The MIL-Lx has been tuned for axial impact against cadaveric data, and is therefore recognised as more biofidelic than the Hybrid-III. The difference in response between boots was significant under the Hybrid-III platform, but minimal under the MIL-Lx platform.





The recent conflicts have unfortunately provided us with a wealth of clinical and incident data. This information can be explored in order to educate surgical reconstruction, improve injury outcome, and enhance mitigation technologies. Specifically for the musculoskeletal system, this can be achieved by combining analysis of clinical information, and development of physical and computational models. This article demonstrates only a few examples of how these domains can complement each other to deliver a tangible outcome. We believe that a collaborative approach between clinicians, scientists and engineers, combining physical and numerical modelling tools with experimentally derived data from models of blast injury, can form the basis in mitigating the injury burden suffered by the combat casualty. With seed funding from the Royal British Legion, we are now realising this multidisciplinary collaboration in the Centre for Blast Injury Studies with the mission to improve the mitigation of injury and advance treatment, rehabilitation and recovery, thus increasing lifelong health and quality of life after blast injury. ■


The work presented here has been supported financially by the following UK charities and UK government organisations: the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL); the Royal British Legion; Army Benevolent Fund (ABF) – The Soldiers’ Charity; the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help; the FH Muirhead Charitable Trust; the Drummond Foundation; and the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM).

REFERENCES Newell, N, SD Masouros, AD Pullen and AMJ Bull, 2011. ‘The Comparative Behaviour of Two Combat Boots Under Impact’, Injury Prevention, 2012, 18: 109-112. Ramasamy, A, AM Hill, SD Masouros, F Gordon, JC Clasper and AMJ Bull, 2011a. ‘Evaluating the Effect of Vehicle Modification in Reducing Injuries from Landmine Blasts: An Analysis


Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

of 2212 Incidents and its Application for Humanitarian Purposes’, Accident Analysis & Prevention 43: 1878–86. Ramasamy A, AM Hill, S Masouros, I Gibb, AMJ Bull and JC Clasper, 2011b. ‘Blast-Related Fracture Patterns: a Forensic Biomechanical Approach’, Journal of the Royal Society Interface 8: 689–98. Ramasamy A, AM Hill, R Phillip, I Gibb, AMJ Bull and JC Clasper, 2011c. ‘The Modern “DeckSlap” Injury: Calcaneal Blast Fractures from Vehicle Explosions’, The Journal of Trauma 71: 1684–88. Ramasamy A, AM Hill, R Phillip, I Gibb, AMJ Bull and JC Clasper, 2012. ‘FASS is a Better Predictor of Poor Outcome in Lower Limb Blast Injury than AIS: Implications for Blast Research’, Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, in press.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Dr Spyros Masouros Spyros Masouros is the ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity Research Fellow at Imperial College London. He is a mechanical engineer with a PhD in joint biomechanics. His research focuses on high-energy trauma of the musculoskeletal system. He also oversees the blast biomechanics research within the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies. Professor Anthony MJ Bull Anthony Bull is Professor of Musculoskeletal Mechanics at Imperial College London. His research interests focus on how forces and deformations are transmitted through the musculoskeletal system. Applications range from diseases of ageing, including osteoarthritis, to highlevel athletic performance and injuries. He leads the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies, the Centre for Medical Engineering Solutions in Osteoarthritis, and the Sports Innovation Challenge, all multimillion-pound-funded research activities at Imperial College. His administrative roles include Head of the Department of Bioengineering and Director of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering.



By Neil Ham MSc and Keith White CEng, AeroGlow Ltd

Emergency egress systems and procedures to assist crew escape are nothing new, particularly within the air domain. Anyone who has undergone the process of practising egress drills under water will understand the panic as the cab fills with water in total darkness and disorientation takes over. Should an armoured vehicle roll over into a water hazard, such as a canal or wadi, following an accident or enemy action, then a similar experience is likely to occur. A number of hazards also occur in smoke or darkness following an IED event or crash, which may hamper personnel in exiting the platform. Military platforms that carry personnel, whether blast protected or not, should be designed to assist crews to egress the vehicle following ‘events’ or incidents. A robust vehicle safety-case should address platform egress issues and recommend mitigation to reduce the likelihood of personnel becoming trapped. A good vehicle safety-case would consider: escape in at least three

planes of direction, the effective size of doors and hatches, use of door-assist mechanisms, and a system to assist crew to locate vital escape equipment and exits. Following an event, crew may have to navigate across cabins in smoke, or worse, water, to attempt to locate, operate and egress through the vehicle’s hatches. With no means of assistance to find exits in these unfavourable conditions, potentially all of the risk-mitigating features mentioned above may become redundant. The hazards associated with location of escape hatches in turbid (murky) and dark conditions where the naked eye cannot focus have until recently been overlooked. Recognition of these hazards over the last three to four years by operators has introduced the concept of egress lighting into the land vehicle domain. Vehicle egress lighting systems should be designed to meet a number of requirements derived from the hazard identification process. Firstly, crew



A typical rear door egress lighting configuration. Note the ‘inverted U’ of white light around the egress point and the green light indicating the location of the door opening handle.


Hatch egress lighting. Note white light around the egress point and green light to indicate hatch opening handles. 86

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012

orientation must be maximised to allow occupants to identify in which position the vehicle has come to rest following rollover. Secondly, potential exit routes must be illuminated in a standard configuration. Thirdly, exit illumination should be automatic following blast, rollover or water egress. The componentry and design must also be robust and independent of the vehicle system in order to survive the blast or water event. The requirement for emergency egress lighting has been recognised by certain coalition nation user groups over the past four years to mitigate the growing IED threat in Iraq and Afghanistan. These theatres have extensive networks of

irrigation ditches, canals and wadis. Blast events or accidents have led to vehicles becoming immersed in water and, tragically, a number of coalition soldiers have been lost as a result of drowning in these water courses. Coalition nations have therefore worked to mitigate this risk and this has led to a requirement for emergency egress lighting systems being fitted to a number of platforms. US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) platforms were the first to enter theatre with egress lighting. System requirements were initially for water activation only, but soon evolved to address the growing threats facing troops in theatre. The complete US SOCOM fleet of vehicles now operates with blast-, rollover- and water-activated egress lighting. Foxhound was the first UK platform to be fitted with this type of egress lighting, and the remainder of the UK protected mobility fleet is now following suit. Procurement activity includes: Ridgback, Mastiff 2&3, Buffalo, CW 4x4, and Warthog. It is anticipated that UK tracked vehicle fleets will similarly respond. These are good examples of how operators show due diligence and demonstrate duty of care to their operators and passengers. As egress lighting is safety critical, it is essential that risk is minimised when selecting a system to meet requirements. Accepting a system with a Technology Readiness Level below 9 would carry inherent risk as immature technology


could possibly perform below the level expected. Systems must be blast tested and shown to be capable of successful activation by an IED, rollover or water event, but should not inadvertently activate, for example following the firing of large ordnance. Systems that do not illuminate downwards-facing egress points following vehicle rollover should be discounted, as escape routes may still exist due to any crater formed by the blast event, an uneven river bed or land terrain. Duty of care dictates that crew must be given every reasonable chance of escape. Egress lighting must be designed to maximise the survivability of the crew by automatically illuminating all vehicle escape hatches, handles and vital escape equipment (such as spare air supplies). A proven configuration derived from the air domain is to have an inverted ‘U’ around egress points, red lights to indicate safety equipment (for example, battle locks) and green lights for door-opening levers. Lighting must be effective through thick smoke and turbid water, as well as indicating vehicle orientation. Any training system (such as a rollover trainer) must also be fitted with egress lighting configured in the same manner as the platforms it supports. All crew deploying to theatre should be trained in the illuminated egress lighting system to ensure familiarity once in theatre. Many crew will be used to travelling in helicopters, therefore training experienced on air platforms should complement that experienced on the ground. Differing lighting criteria would cause confusion, hence every effort should be made to design systems in all domains of a complementary nature. Finally, as a safety-critical system, any egress lighting must be designed to ensure the highest levels of operational availability, preferably successfully demonstrated in theatre. Throughlife costs should be correspondingly low, with any system designed with maximum commonality and minimum training requirements. Effective, intuitive and robust are the key elements that, if considered fully, will result in maximum mitigation to vehicle operators and users. The question, though, remains: If you were travelling in a vehicle in a high-threat environment, would you want an egress lighting system fitted to your vehicle? ■

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Keith White enjoyed 32 years in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers serving as an Engineering Officer in a number of theatres throughout the world. He completed his service as the Requirements Manager within the Protected Mobility Team at Defence Equipment and Support, Abbey Wood where he was responsible for all Protected Vehicle Requirements. Since leaving the Army Keith has worked for AeroGlow Ltd as Business Development Lead with a remit to increase knowledge of the company’s range of survivability systems across the world. Keith is a Chartered Electronic Engineer and Project Manager with a Post Graduate Diploma in Defence Acquisition Management. Neil Ham has spent much of his professional career as an Emergency Egress subject matter expert and adviser to UK MoD and US DoD. His experience varies from managing live underwater egress trials to assessment of open water helicopter sink rate and canopy jettison trials. Since leaving MoD Boscombe Down Neil has brought his experience to AeroGlow Ltd and has made a successful transition into the defence supply sector. Neil holds an MSc from Kingston University and is an active researcher, developer, and frequently published author in the domains of land and air safety.

Rear door egress lighting. Note in this configuration the Battle Lock is indicated with red light and the door opening handle with green light.



Images copyright of QinetiQ

THE WORLD LEADING DEFENCE & SECURITY EVENT + Over 1,400 companies from more than 50 countries displaying Air, Naval, Land & Security products and new technology + Unrivalled visitor base 121 countries represented in 2011 + Access new markets including Brazil, India and SE Asia


+ High number of Official Delegations - 75 from 55 countries + Networking - the world’s Defence & Security supply chain in one place + Engaging content - seminars, high level briefings and scenario based demonstrations



To find out how to join the world’s largest integrated defence & security exhibition Contact Us Today T: + 44 (0)20 7384 7770 F: + 44 (0)20 7384 7773 E:


PERSONAL IED PROTECTION By Philippe Minchin, Researcher for BCB International Ltd

An example of Blast Boxers worn by soldiers.

A soldier using a PMEK. Inset: A Personal IED and Mine Extraction Kit (PMEK).

In Afghanistan, the Taliban’s weapons of choice are improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines. IEDs are the single biggest cause of deaths and injuries to troops in Afghanistan, who are being weighed down by the sheer load of essential kit they are required to carry. From medical and radio equipment to body armour, ammunition and water supplies, soldiers deployed in Afghanistan are on average saddled with up to 120 pounds (54.5 kg) of kit while out on patrols in the field. Anything that helps dismounted soldiers deal with the threats posed by IEDs without adding too much to their already heavy burden is therefore very much welcomed.


Currently available on the market are lightweight and compact Personal IED and Mine Extraction Kits (PMEKs), which fit neatly in a Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) belt pouch. These are designed for dismounted soldiers as well as vehicles to carry at all times when patrolling in an area where mines or IEDs could

be lurking. They can be assembled in seconds and contain all the components troops need to extract themselves out of a minefield confidently and safely. The kits hold all the essentials, from a nonmagnetic scraper and prodder designed to pinpoint the device and remove any loose earth covering it, to tripwire feelers, coloured marker pegs and chemical light sticks that glow in the dark.


Blast injuries to a soldier’s groin area, especially the perineal and femoral arteries, account for a significant proportion of IED-related deaths to our troops. A number of defence manufacturers have therefore developed various solutions to this problem, including innovative groin-protection undergarments dubbed ‘Blast Boxers’, which are making a real difference to the safety of soldiers who wear them. Worn instead of underwear, the garments are typically made from either silk or Kevlar to help protect the groin area against most of the fragments blasted at them by IEDs without hampering mobility and comfort.



The SQ-4 Recon nano UAV.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Philippe Minchin is a researcher for BCB International Ltd, a company that has been providing protective and survival equipment to the military for over 50 years. Before joining BCB International, he spent seven years as a researcher for a member of the UK Parliament who served on the House of Commons’ Defence Select Committee and represented the UK on the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

For more information please visit: 90

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012


Knowledge is crucial in the fight against the Taliban, because it provides troops with information about the enemy and the best tactics to use to get the job done quickly and safely. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are fast becoming the preferred intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms for the military. The benefits of using UAVs are significant: modern UAV sorties are less expensive than traditional fixed-wing and rotary-wing information-gathering sorties, and their size and limited noise output make them harder to detect. Should things take a turn for the worse, no operators are captured or killed, meaning more service personnel for front-line duties. In fast-moving operations, when dismounted troops on the ground come under attack from the enemy, instant information on the enemy’s movements, capabilities and any hidden dangers like IEDs (which may be lurking over a hill or inside a building) is required. While weaponised tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (TUAVs), medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) and high-altitude long endurance (HALE) systems have played a key role in high-profile military operations, their size makes them less well suited for deployment in dense urban sites or forested areas. TUAV, MALE and HALE devices can also be

slow to deploy, and when troops on the ground are finally granted access to one of the few assets available, they seldom have control of the footage that is being transmitted. Nano UAVs are designed to fill this operational need. Some, like the SQ-4 Recon, weigh in at just under 240 grams (8.4oz) fit snugly into a soldier’s daypack, and can be out of the pack in a matter of seconds. The SQ-4 Recon, for example, covers a range of up to 5 kilometres 3.1 miles) in less than 3 minutes, and can fly for 30 minutes. It can be flown easily from anywhere in the world using a tablet, which also displays the video and stills transmitted by the nano UAV’s high-resolution day/night camera. Its small size, coupled with ten ultrasonic sonars, means that it can be used to penetrate a building or narrow spaces as well as avoiding objects. Its highly sensitive microphones enable the mission commander to listen in to conversations. Flying silently, a nano UAV such as the SQ-4 can hover discreetly over a targeted area, switch off its engines and perch like a bird on the ledge of a building, and without being spotted zoom in with its day/night camera on suspicious activities for up to eight hours. This means that soldiers can carry out reconnaissance missions without putting themselves at risk of walking into an ambush or stepping on a buried roadside bomb. If the operator starts losing control, or when the battery reaches 30%, the SQ-4 will automatically return to the launch point. The nano UAV platform has huge merits. The price tag associated with their acquisition, maintenance and repair is a fraction of the costs linked to larger UAVs, and they can be used independently at infantry level with minimal training. Nano UAVs like the SQ-4 systems are therefore being widely considered as a smart procurement in both the military and civilian ISR field. ■

December 3 – 4, 2012 | Sheraton Hotel - Brussels, Belgium Returning for its fifth year, MKDS’ CIED Training workshops and exhibition will once again lead the way in providing the latest overview of in-theater Route Clearance operations, Attacking the Network, and the use of Home Made Explosives (HME) in conflict areas and in the homeland. The 5th Annual Defeating IEDs event will feature 4 highly interactive training workshops conducted by a diverse group of Senior Experts from Military & Industry, and participants will have the opportunity to share their own experiences and perspectives on each subject matter. These workshops will tackle the latest in Route Clearance Capabilities, Forensic exploitation, Biometrics and Homeland Security, and special operations in high threat environments.

Workshops 1- Proactive Intelligence Analytics to Combat the IED Threat (BAE Systems Intelligence & Security) – 3.5hrs The BAE Systems C-IED workshop will incorporate lessons learned across the team, and provide an overview of the effectiveness of this approach. BAE Systems tailors its methods to meet each unit’s mission support intelligence requirements and allows our forward deployed teams to rapidly and effectively reach back into and across the BAE Systems team, thereby gaining access to the largest pool of C-IED DoD contractors in the world with unique C-IED capabilities and technologies. CIED CIATs enhance battalion intelligence staffs with their experience as intelligence professionals skilled in Human Intelligence Analysis, Collection Management, Database Research, and All-Source Analysis, increasing the unit’s capacity and capability to conduct CIED-related intelligence. BAE Systems presently supports International Assistance Security Forces (ISAF) with “on-the-ground” counter-IED (C-IED) intelligence analysis support. BAE Systems deploys dedicated personnel to numerous Afghan provinces as part of C-IED Intelligence Analytic Teams (CIATs). These CIATs integrate into and work with conventional military and special operations intelligence elements. The CIAT program is one way that BAE Systems is providing essential solutions and highly specialized intelligence analysis to combat the IED threat in Afghanistan.

2- Route Clearance in NATO (Military Engineering Centre of Excellence - MILENG COE) – 2.0hrs Workshop outline:  RC Broad Lessons  NATO RC Doctrine Structure  Current Status of RC Doctrine Development  RC Fundamentals (from lessons learned)  RC Concept (Draft)  RC Perceived & Proposed way ahead ‡ Full workshop program available soon


Assault IEDD and Counter-Suicide Bomber Operations in High Threat Environments

To introduce IED operators and commanders to a range of overt and covert techniques used in the rapid assessment and neutralization of hostage, suicide and access denial devices, during hostage rescue and interdiction operations land-based, aviation and maritime environments. Assault IED Defeat is a specialized skills-set enabling suitably selected operator to rapidly assess and neutralize IED’s during land-based, aviation and maritime interdiction operations. Assault IEDD differs from generic IEDD in that the overriding aim of the operator is to maintain the momentum of the assault force in a hostile (high-threat) environment by facilitating the assault force reaching their objective safely, rapidly and with minimum risk of compromise.


Evolution of Jihadist Terrorist TTPs

This workshop introduces delegates to a number of scenarios in the form of case studies - as well as studying footage of Jihadist operatives engaging in training scenarios. The workshop will take the form of a review and analysis session, focusing on advanced jihadist terrorist training and tactical methodology. Much of the footage to be studied was filmed by Jihadist trainers while conducting advanced tactical training at compounds in Afghanistan, the Caucuses and Pakistan.

Topics include - Post ISAF consideration - NATO CIED Action Plan - Providing specialist Force Protection capabilities - Current Status of RC Doctrine Development - Route Clearance, Future Operational Scenario Program Global Shield US Immigration and Customs Enforcement / Homeland Security Investigations (ICE/HSI)

Speakers include - Dr. Franco FIORE - CIED Head Scientist, NCI Agency - Colonel James Douglas STUART - Head UK Joint IED Analysis Centre (JIEDAC), UK MoD - LTC Richard ELLIS | US Commander EITP (Expeditionary Intelligence Training Program) - NATO School - Major Andre DESROCHERS | OF-3 Canada - SO Concept & Doctrine, Military Engineering Centre of Excellence (MILENG COE) - Major Brian STAMPS | Head Counter-IED Branch - Marine Corps systems Command (MCSC) - LTC Michael D. OLIVER | Badger 07, Senior CIED Trainer - US Army Europe, JMTC - LTC Fabrizio RICCI | Chief C-IED Department - Italian C-IED CoE - Mr. Jack McCRACKEN, Director, Irregular Warfare Analysis - BAE Systems

CIED Technology Exhibition The CIED Technology Exhibition will offer a platform to 20 Exhibitors leading the way in C-IEDs and Force Protection solutions. The Exhibition will be open to all Government, Military, Law enforcement, Civil defence, and Industry experts wishing to attend. Visiting the Technology Exhibition is free of charge. Registration is required

Event partners

For further details and registration please contact Or Call +1.514.484.9888 Special rates and discounts to Military and government attendees Unique content │ Global reach │ In print and online

Counter-IED Report

published by Delta Business Media Limited 3rd floor, 207 Regent Street, London, W1B 3HH, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7193 2303 Fax: +44 (0) 20 3014 7659

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012  

The Counter-IED Report is a specialist, subscription-based publication, which serves as an information source to communicate the latest deve...

Counter-IED Report, Autumn/Winter 2012  

The Counter-IED Report is a specialist, subscription-based publication, which serves as an information source to communicate the latest deve...