Iceland hosts multinational bomb disposal exercise

  • 24 Sep. 2012 - 05 Oct. 2012
  • |
  • Last updated: 02 Oct. 2012 14:16

The Icelandic Coast Guard held its annual multinational bomb disposal exercise in Keflavik from 24 September to 5 October 2012. The aim was to train experts in how to respond to real-life terrorist incidents involving improvised and military explosive devices.

“Every year, this exercise allows us to test the organization, equipment and skills of the participating EOD teams in a multinational area and in a high threat environment,” says Jamie Shea, NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges.

This exercise brought together Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel from NATO and partner countries and pitted them in Afghanistan-based scenarios involving improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The aim was to provide a unique opportunity for pre-training IED teams which are primarily serving in, or being deployed to, international missions.

The technicians faced a series of realistic and challenging problems throughout the event. The exercise served to test each EOD team's equipment and have their techniques evaluated by experienced foreign counterparts.

The exercise is part of several initiatives defined under NATO’s Programme of Work for Defence Against Terrorism. This programme is one of NATO’s responses to the new security challenges posed by asymetric, non conventional, threats such as terrorism. It is unique in that each initiative is being brought forward by individual nations, so as to leverage the capacities of national governments, industry, science and research.

“This training truly benefits the soldiers as well as their fellow technicians and provides a forum for an exchange of ideas and doctrines with regards to the EOD threat environment,” said Lt. Cdr. Sigurdur Ásgrímsson, Commander of the Icelandic Coast Guard.

Iceland Coast Guard personnel trained alongside soldiers from eight fellow NATO member states – Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States – as well as partner countries Austria and Sweden.

"It is all EOD techs here and they all have different types of equipment," said Ásgrímsson. "It is very good to see how everyone works and cooperates together."