|The C-IED Demonstration Zone will feature a spectrum of IED threats from all parts of the world|
On the battlefield, in the public transport arena and within the urban environment, the threat from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) remains potent. Advanced threat detection methods, threat handling techniques and threat containment solutions are helping to mitigate the danger inherent in safe IED detection and disposal.
However, with the nature of the threat evolving all the time, Counter Terror Expo 2014 will this year incorporate a C-IED Demonstration Zone dedicated to showcasing the latest developments from some of the leading companies working in this critical area. Just how critical was confirmed only recently by news reports that the republican terror alliance known as the new IRA has claimed responsibility, using a codeword confirmed by Scotland Yard, for a series of some seven separate parcel bombs sent to military careers offices across England.
In the words of Bob Shaw, a director at Optimal Risk, and the lead organiser of the C-IED Demonstration Zone: “Operational forces are so busy dealing with current operations that planning for the future and looking at all the new technology and our adversaries’ TTP (tactics, techniques and procedures) ends up too low a priority, especially in today’s fiscal climate. That is why features such as the C-IED Demonstration Zone at Counter Terror Expo are key.”
As part of his role within the Zone, Bob will be providing a live commentary on six different scenarios that will be enacted over the course of the two days of the show. Covering the full spectrum of IED threats in all parts of the world, the scenarios will feature some of the latest equipment available.
"This is a must-attend show feature, not just for law enforcement and military personnel, but all security personnel to ensure their security procedures in the event of suspect packages are fully optimised to minimise risk to their colleagues"
Examples of the operations that will be featured in the scenarios include:
Clearing landmines - important not only from a humanitarian point of view but because mines can be recycled by terrorists. Mines contain high grade military explosives, so IEDS made from them are particularly destructive and can fragment and penetrate armoured vehicles.
Conventional ordnance disposal - for example, anything dropped from a plane. The technology and equipment required for more traditional bombs, like those used in WWII are still required, as you never know when a bomb might be constructed out of old equipment, using old techniques, by an organisation operating with limited funds.
High Risk Search - This involves a Royal Engineer search team, in conjunction with an IEDD operator, isolating an area – possibly whilst under enemy fire – to allow for the detection of IEDs. Using metal detectors that also have ground penetrating radar to detect changes in the soil, the searches can be done more accurately, avoiding the previous false alarms caused by seeding (where alarms are triggered by deliberately placed scrap metal decoys).
Heavy IEDD Team - dealing with a Vehicle Born IED, where the car itself is the device, designed to attack major infrastructure, often in crowded market places, and possibly deployed in a suicide mission.
Post Room – demonstrating the equipment used for dealing with a postal device, including the personal protection equipment used by an IEDD operator and the small disrupters designed for selective disruption, to minimise damage and maximise forensic exploitation of the device.
Bomb Making Factories – highlighting the role of an Assault IEDD team entering an environment where terrorists are making producing IEDs (most likely to be in a domestic setting) and disposing of the devices whilst possibly finding themselves under armed attack.
Among the organisations exhibiting their products and services within the C-IED Demonstration Zone will be Microdrones, a manufacturer of Unmanned Aerial Systems, who commented: “Detection, avoidance, and intelligence gathering are key issues for the C-IED community and unmanned technologies will prove to be of increasing importance in supporting C-IED efforts”.
"The C-IED Demonstration Zone
Also exhibiting will be Sentinor (formerly Becatech Systems) who specialise in tactical intrusion prevention and the securing of fixed infrastructure and have won the Counter Terror Expo Excellence Awards for the past two consecutive years. Sentinor stressed the importance of “knowing when and where IEDs 'might' be and when and where potential bad guys may have been”.
Tactical Electronics have been designing tactical camera systems and EOD equipment, including Unmanned Aerial Systems, as well as providing multiple-level training for over a decade. In their view, “Counter Terror Expo will allow us to showcase our latest equipment and course offerings to EOD operators and police services, including our Armed Response Kit, EOD Tool Kits and K-9 Cameras”.
Philip Hunter, Event Director, Clarion Defence & Security commented: “The C-IED Demonstration Zone is just one element of the free to attend exhibition which is crucial in ensuring the counter-terrorism and security industry is fully prepared to tackle the evolving terrorist threat. This is a must-attend show feature, not just for law enforcement and military personnel, but all security personnel to ensure their security procedures in the event of suspect packages are fully optimised to minimise risk to their colleagues”.