To increase the level of knowledge in the area of Home made explosives (HME), the representatives of NATO EOD COE, CPT Ján BAK and CPT Martin KLUSÁČEK, attended the Home Made Explosives – Identify, Process, Dispose (IPD) course organized from 24 to 28 February 2020 by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in National Center for Explosives Training and Research, Huntsville, Alabama, USA.
Approved hands-on laboratory classes, practical exercises, explosives range demonstrations, lectures, and disposal exercises were used to enhance student´s depth of knowledge. The course covered following topics:
- Recognition and identification of precursors used in the manufacture of HMEs
- Association of the precursors with respective homemade explosives
- Identification and mitigation of the hazards of precursors, partially mixed HMEs, or finished HMEs
- Safe sampling and testing techniques for HME or precursor identification
- Evidence collection and scene processing
- Final disposal of HMEs.
Twenty-two students from both the military and civilian environment attended the course. During the practical exercises, the students were split into three teams coached by a mentor, a chemist and assistant instructors. The teams were tasked to solve two incidents in permissive environment and 1 incident in non-permissive environment. The course was finished with written test, practical HME exam and a testimony in front of the Grand Jury and prosecutor to provide sufficient evidence collected during week scenarios and convict suspects by felony for illegal production of the HME.
Furthermore, apart from the HME course, CPT BAK and CPT KLUSÁČEK visited the FBI Hazardous Devices School (FBI HDS). The aim of the visit was to identify commonalities between both organizations and find the room for possible future cooperation.