By Alexios Limnios - Training Coordinator
Realistic CBRNe, C-IED, EOD & Demining Training
What started off as a brainstorming session on the patio over at our previous office space, has developed in to quite a success story thus far.
CBRNe and explosive training events are common practice globally, whether they are carried out by inter-governmental alliances, local responders themselves or by private entities. With this in mind, we analyzed a gap in the current status quo with regards to these sorts of trainings. Commonly, they are held at the national or local level, which can be a strain on resources, efficiency and lack a consistent, coordinated effort amongst NATO members. If there were to be such a large scale CBRNe event requiring the support and response of multiple nations, then how efficient would it be and what setbacks could be expected? Are national responders sufficiently trained to communicate and coordinate responses often requiring the need to overcome linguistic and operational barriers?
Having analyzed the training programs currently in place around the globe, we identified the lack of a consistent multi-national and multi-agency response training event as problematic. It is important to note the word “consistent,” as we are not arguing an absence of such training events. Rather, we argue that they are not regularly conducted. Therefore, we thought to ourselves, “Why not use our existing network of NCT delegations and sponsors to coordinate such trainings and offer the ‘total’ experience to our participants?”
NOTE: For those of you who are reading this article and are unaware of the Non-Conventional Threat (NCT) event series, IB Consultancy together with the CBRNe Society have been running CBRNe, C-IED, EOD & Demining conferences and exhibitions for the last 10 years.
During NCT Europe 2018 our vision became a reality with the inception of our first ever tri-stream event consisting of an exhibition, conference and the NCT PRO Training which took place at the National CBRN Center in Vught, the Netherlands.
Trainer George McKerrow briefing a team from the Polish 1st Engineer Regiment and TEDAX NRBQ of the Spanish National Police – Vught, the Netherlands(photo: IB Consultancy)
Snapshot of the NCT PRO Trainings
This latest innovation of NCT Events is organized and coordinated with our long time friends and partners at Hotzone Solutions Group and MAC 7 Training Services LLC. The training events are organized at a training facility, military base or a space that allows realistic scenario-driven exercises.
Over the duration of two – three days, teams of professionals receive training based on their requirements using equipment provided by leading CBRNe, C-IED, EOD and demining companies from all over the world. Using NCT Europe 2019 as an example, teams from all over Europe (and abroad) were invited to come to the Tritolwerk CBRN and Disaster Relief Training Area in Austria for a two-day session. Each team was matched to another from a different country. For example: the Czech 31st CBRN Defense Regiment trained together with a unit from the Brussels Fire Department; the Luxembourg Police with the Austrian Armed Forces EOD Battalion, et cetera. As exemplified by our idea, the pairings promoted coordinated multi-national and multi-agency efforts as well as interoperability. That is what NCT Pro Training is all about: providing multidisciplinary training in an international environment.
These sessions are also used as a platform for manufacturers to introduce what are often new technologies for “field trials” with confidence, allowing them to showcase solutions that are not yet the final form or package.
By participating in this way, we saw that it is an ideal way for companies to gain direct feedback from the end-user for R&D purposes and to allow end-users to get to know new equipment. It is this exchange of knowledge that is essential to furthering the readiness of our responders during CBRNe and explosive incidents and whilst conferences and exhibitions are a great opportunity do so, the trainings add an extra element.
A member of the Czech 31st CBRN Defense Regiment (left) with Luxembourg Police (Right) (photo: IB Consultancy)
2018 - 2019 in Numbers
Considering we only recently had the opportunity to introduce NCT PRO Training in 2018, our participation numbers have grown positively. The growth of our NCT PRO Training events was expected to be minimal at first, particularly on European soil, as it remains an uncommon practice to combine it with conferences and exhibitions. Much to the credit of our hard-working team and the participants in Vught in 2018, the numbers grew beyond expectation in 2019 as can be seen in the below illustration.
We are humbled by the positive response from participating teams and sponsors that have created, and continue to create, a positive atmosphere rooted in hard work, expertise and establishing a professional authoritative network as well as friendships.
Based on the extremely encouraging feedback from participants from all corners of these events, we want NCT PO Training to be a place where blunders can occur, where trying new techniques might not be successful the first time and where professionals like you can learn from advancements in new technologies.
The concept of the training is grounded in supporting responders during such moments, wherein the lessons learned from setbacks are experienced not only by your team and fellow responders back home, but by an international group of fellow responders.
As cliché as most of this may sound, the truth is there for anyone to see – practice makes perfect and you’ll need to go through a whole list of setbacks during the process.
NCT PRO Training in 2020
Considering the results in 2018, the number of NCT Pro Training events increased in 2019 and will continue to do so again this year. We are excited to take you on this journey with us throughout the year from Colombia to Thailand via Cambodia, a three-day transit in the USA and finally ending our ‘tour’ in Italy. We will have more teams, more training sessions with bigger, better and more sophisticated training sites to meet your teams’ needs.
During this growth period, we caught the eye of COGES, organizers of the world-renowned EUROSATORY defense exhibition. Having signed an agreement with them, we will therefore also offer the NCT Pro Training experience during EUROSATORY in June 2020. This event will consist of shorter and more targeted training sessions, while the overall concept will remain the same.
In closing, we are excited by the opportunities and challenges ahead of us in 2020, as we continue to innovate and drive towards our goal of making this world a safer and more secure place – Bring on the new decade and join us on this journey!
Fairfax County Fire & Rescue HAZMAT Team put through a grueling scenario in the Draeger Maze,
(photo: IB Consultancy)