ISSN 2050-6732 (Print) ISSN 2050-6740 (Online)
Counter-IED Report Spring/Summer 2017
MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO PEACE SUPPORT AND HUMANITARIAN RELIEF OPERATIONS HUMANITARIAN MINE ACTION INVOLVEMENT IN IED DISPOSAL IMPROVISED AIR-DELIVERED MUNITIONS IN SYRIA & IRAQ: A BRIEF OVERVIEW THE BEAR AND THE BOMB: AN OVERVIEW ABOUT RUSSIAN COUNTER-IED MEANS FEMALES’ CONTRIBUTION IN COUNTERING IEDs IEDs: ‘DEFEAT THE DEVICE’ – THROUGH INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY IRISH DEFENCE FORCES – 7th COUNTER-IED INSTRUCTOR COURSE ARE IEDs WITH TOXIC CHEMICALS REDEFINING METHODS OF CHEMICAL WARFARE?
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ISSN 2050-6732 (Print) ISSN 2050-6740 (Online)
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FOREWORD By Rob Hyde-Bales, Consulting Editor, Counter-IED Report
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MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO PEACE SUPPORT AND HUMANITARIAN RELIEF OPERATIONS By Rob Hyde-Bales, Consulting Editor, Counter-IED Report
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COUNTER-IED REPORT, Spring/Summer 2017
HUMANITARIAN MINE ACTION INVOLVEMENT IN IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE DISPOSAL By Andy Grantham and Samuel Paunila, Advisors for Ammunition Operations at the GICHD
ISDEF EXPO 2017
IMPROVISED AIR-DELIVERED MUNITIONS IN SYRIA & IRAQ: A BRIEF OVERVIEW By Kenton Fulmer and N.R. Jenzen-Jones, Armament Research Services (ARES)
TECHNOLOGY EMBRACES EXPERTISE: RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES FROM THE COUNTER-IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE (C-IED COE) By Lieutenant Colonel Jose M Rufas, Head of the Defeat the Device Branch, C-IED Centre of Excellence
3rd C-IED TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP
DSEI 2017 - WORLDâ€™s LEADING DEFENCE AND SECURITY EXHIBITION
SCREENING ELECTRONIC ITEMS By John Howell, Director of Explosives Technology at DSA Detection
MILIPOL PARIS 2017
THE BEAR AND THE BOMB: AN OVERVIEW ABOUT RUSSIAN COUNTER-IED MEANS By Lieutenant Colonel Jose M Rufas, Head of the Defeat the Device Branch, C-IED Centre of Excellence
UK SECURITY EXPO 2017
COUNTER-IED REPORT, Spring/Summer 2017
FEMALES’ CONTRIBUTION IN COUNTERING IEDs By Zsuzsanna Balogh, PhD, Senior C-IED staff officer, NATO HQ SACT
NCT USA 2017
IEDs: ‘DEFEAT THE DEVICE’ – THROUGH INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY By Colonel H R Naidu Gade, Indian Army Veteran
IRISH DEFENCE FORCES – 7th COUNTER-IED INSTRUCTOR COURSE By Lt Brian Clarke, BA, LLM. and 2/Lt John Nevin
ISDEF EXPO 2017
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ARE IEDs WITH TOXIC CHEMICALS REDEFINING METHODS OF CHEMICAL WARFARE? By Prashant Yajnik, Integrated Chemicals and Compliance Management Consultant
DEFENSE & SECURITY 2017
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FOREWORD By Rob Hyde-Bales, Consulting Editor, Counter-IED Report
rom the perspective of global security, the first quarter of 2017 has proved to be arguably less predictable than the latter part of 2016. A major factor has been the change of Administration in the United States. The first individual to be made acutely aware of the changed situation was President Bashar alAssad of Syria. In the early hours of Friday 7 April, the US launched 59 Tomahawk missiles from warships USS Ross and USS Porter in response to a Syrian air attack using chemical munitions on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April. The US missile strikes targeted the Syrian Shayrat airbase near Homs – the base from where the US stated that the Syrian chemical – assessed to be Sarin – attacks had been launched. The West supported this action by the US. This was in stark contrast to 2013 when the US and its allies did not actively respond to an earlier Assad chemical attack. One of the consequences of the US missile strikes has been a cooling of relations between Moscow and Washington. Syria’s main backers remain Iran, Russia and Hezbollah. On the ground in Syria conflict continues around the cities of Aleppo and Raqqa with disastrous humanitarian consequences. In Iraq the long running operation by the Iraqi forces supported by Coalition airstrikes to clear Islamic State fighters from Mosul continues. The operation began in October 2016 and demonstrates the military challenges associated with this kind of urban warfare where ISIS continues to utilise IEDs in both defensive and offensive modes. Abundance of military grade explosives combined with proliferation of bomb-making expertise on the ground led to increased, often with devastating results, use of
SVBIEDs by ISIS, AQ and other militant groups. This provides a particularly challenging task which needs to be addressed by local security forces and Western allies. As in Aleppo and Raqqa, the civilian population of Mosul is sustaining very high casualties. In Afghanistan the Taliban have proclaimed the beginning of their Spring Offensive with a large scale assault on security forces in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. It is estimated that up to 150 soldiers may have been killed in this assault. This was one of the largest attacks since the start of Western intervention in 2001. Currently the Taliban occupy about one third of Afghanistan – a situation not foreseen when NATO concluded offensive operations in 2014. The long standing dysfunctional chaos and conflict in Libya continue to result in thousands of migrants attempting to enter southern Europe via the Mediterranean. The improving weather at this time of year will serve to exacerbate this dire situation. In her thought provoking article, Lt Col Zsuzsanna Balogh of NATO HQ SACT outlines how females can contribute to the Counter-IED campaign. She juxtaposes the situation whereby the terrorist organisations ISIS and Boko Haram continue to coerce young women and girls as suicide bombers, with ways in which she assesses that women can actively assist in the CounterIED campaign. She points out that in this respect women have advantages derived both from their roles in society and their natural feminine attributes. Among these are their ability to gather and process information and their powers of observation. Females have been actively participating in Humanitarian Mine Action by demining for the past 20 years. counteriedreport.com
In a most interesting article, Lt Col Jose M Rufas of the NATO C-IED Centre of Excellence in Madrid comprehensively describes Russian demining, EOD and IED clearance operations in Syria. He gives details of a broad range of modern and ostensibly impressive Russian equipment that is effectively being trialled in the Syrian theatre of operations. During the Cold War the Soviet Armed Forces possessed a broad array of impressive armoured mine clearance equipment, designed to clear NATO defensive landmine belts. Russia is clearly determined to continue this tradition in the fields of demining, EOD and IED clearance. In their detailed and informative article, Kenton Fulmer and N.R. Jenzen–Jones of Armament Research Services outline the ever increasing growth in the use of air- delivered munitions in the Syrian Civil War. They describe devastating attacks by the Syrian Arab Air Force using the iniquitous “barrel bomb”, which have also included the use of chemical components – normally chlorine. A worrying innovation in this war has been the development and rapid expansion in the use of air-delivered improvised munitions and modified conventional ordnance deployed from commercial off-the shelf (COTS) small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by ISIS and other non-state and state groups. ISIS has a UAV “school” where multi-rotor UAVs are assembled and modified and operators trained. Lt Brian Clarke and 2nd Lt John Nevin in their topical article describe the Irish Defence Forces’ very successful 7th Counter-IED Instructor Course run at their Ordnance School in Kildare, Ireland. They detail the historical IED threat that was faced by the Irish Defence and Security Forces during the so-called “Troubles” in Northern Ireland and also the more recent IED threat faced both during UN deployments and with ISAF in Afghanistan. In an excellent innovation, since 2012 all officers commissioned into the Irish Defence Forces attend this three week long course. This should prove an excellent counter to the ubiquitous problem faced by armed forces with C-IED skill fade after the cessation of combat operations – more militaries should consider such an innovation. 14 COUNTER-IED REPORT, Spring/Summer 2017
Given the current discussions about the involvement of Humanitarian Organisations in IED Disposal (IEDD), the article on this topic by Mr Andy Grantham and Mr Samuel Paunila of GICHD is most welcome. They examine the issue of Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) in IEDD as HMA organisations are increasingly involved in IEDD, which is often viewed as part of the critically important Land Release process. They emphasise, however, that there are fundamental differences between IEDD and HMA EOD, critically the constantly evolving threat from the IED. This risk must be well understood as IEDD operations present greater uncertainty and require different mitigation strategies and more demanding response capabilities. HMA should avoid certain activities within IEDD. They assess that there is uncertainty among authorities and donors about much of the humanitarian IEDD currently being undertaken. These and other excellent articles constitute this edition of Counter-IED Report. ■
Rob Hyde-Bales biography During his career in the UK Royal Engineers, Rob Hyde-Bales was responsible for landmine clearance in Libya and, more latterly, Afghanistan in the running of the first United Nations humanitarian landmine clearance training programme – Operation Salam. The programme trained Afghan male refugees in landmine clearance techniques, and Afghan women and children in mine awareness and avoidance training. More recently he set up the Caribbean Search Centre in Kingston, Jamaica. The Centre is designed to train security forces across the Caribbean in modern search techniques. After retiring from the army he joined Cranfield University at Shrivenham, near Oxford, and undertook a research project on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence that examined ways to improve the sharing of IED threat information between the military and civilian organisations in hazardous areas.
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