The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Response and Defeat Operations Support (REDOPS) program is adding a fifth Bomb Squad Test Bed location hosted by the FBI Counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Unit (CIEDU) at the FBI Hazardous Devices School (HDS) in Huntsville, Alabama.
REDOPS further strengthens the existing partnership between HDS and CIEDU to enhance the tools and render safe procedures available to bomb technicians. REDOPS is the DHS S&T program focused on improving the capabilities of our public safety bomb squads.
REDOPS works closely with the FBI’s CIEDU and the state and local bomb squads to execute technology assessment test beds to identify and validate innovative technologies and procedures for rendering safe IEDs. HDS trains and certifies public safety bomb technicians in the United States. The first assessment was hosted in May 2016 and included representatives from more than 20 federal, state, local, and military bomb squads.
Explosives are more sophisticated in design and construction. To keep pace with this evolving threat, bomb technicians must continually adapt their tools and techniques.
The HDS test bed will not only identify new and emerging technologies and methodologies, but will also provide a mechanism for the HDS instructors to assist the FBI with assessing new technologies’ capabilities to enhance current render safe operations.
As a result, the best ideas and practices that individual bomb technicians and bomb squads learn from HDS can be disseminated throughout the bomb tech community.
“It’s a logical step,” says REDOPS Program Manager Byung Hee Frantz. “Putting these new tools and procedures in the classroom means the most innovative, effective strategies for mitigating IED threats will get into the field in an expedient manner. By partnering with FBI and conducting test bed assessments at HDS, every bomb squad in the country will benefit from the work REDOPS does.”
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