Earlier this month, Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians and federal, state, and local bomb squads participated in the Raven’s Challenge exercise. The Raven’s Challenge is an annual, interagency, counter IED exercise that incorporates scenarios focused on interoperability capabilities between public safety bomb squads and military EOD units in operational domestic type IED environments.
The exercise included scenarios that prepared the military and non-military participants for future collaboration and provided opportunities to pick up new skills. According to John Simpson, Raven’s Challenge exercise program manager, exercises like Raven’s Challenge increase the interoperability between the military and law enforcement agencies to meet domestic threats like the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Don Robinson, special agent in charge with the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) National Center for Explosives Training and Research, echoed Simpson’s thoughts, saying “This is the perfect exercise to have the military and public safety bomb squads training together and working together before another Boston occurs.”
Participants shared their reasons for choosing EOD, many saying that they chose the field because they wanted to make a difference and protect others, be it their brothers and sisters at arms or civilians at home and across the globe. “Training like this is how we keep people alive. This is what gets service members back home alive,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Cole Carroll, an EOD technician assigned to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.
Raven’s Challenge is funded by the Department of the Army. The exercise is led by ATF, and is supported through partnerships with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of the Defense, the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration, and state and local public safety agencies.
For more information about Raven’s Challenge, please follow the link below.
EOD Technicians Receive Essential Training at Interagency Exercise, DoD News
Raven’s Challenge Exercise Promotes Interoperability, DoD News
2017 Raven’s Challenge Exercise, Raven’s Challenge