Forty experts from fifteen participating EDA Member States gathered in Malmo (Sweden) on 8-9 June 2016 to discuss the final arrangements for the multinational Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) exercise Bison Counter 2016 (BC16) to be hosted by the Swedish Armed Forces from 15 to 27 August 2016.
During this final coordination conference, discussions focused on logistics and planning arrangements. According to the information compiled during the meeting, more than 200 troops from 20 European and non-European countries, as well as some 700 Swedish troops will take part in BC16.
The exercise plan is to evaluate the full C-IED concept from the first responders’ perspective until delivery of C-IED related intelligence production, so as to tackle all the C-IED work strands. A large number of different C-IED enablers ranging from Military Search, Military Working Dogs, Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Improvised Explosive Devices Disposal (IEDD), EOD divers, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear and explosives (CBRNe) experts, Military Engineers and Weapon Intelligence Teams from Land, Maritime and Air domains will take part in the exercise. The Forces will be split up in different components such as Task Force C-IED, Brigade Level Staff, Training Teams, Observers and Lessons Learned among others.
The scenario will see a large number of C-IED dedicated tasks being implemented in several locations in Sweden including maritime C-IED tasks at a naval base.
The inclusion of the Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL) deployable capability (JDC) marks the first time the laboratory will deploy in its fully operational mode. Previously, the laboratory has been recently sent on a first expeditionary deployment to a Spanish exercise (Interdict 16). This time, more than 20 exploitation experts between lab members and observers will provide a 24/7 service.
Major Lars Samuelsson (Swedish Armed Forces) pointed out the challenge of running such a complex and specific exercise (the only full C-IED dedicated exercise worldwide);he is expecting representatives from 20 different nationalities to attend.
The first Bison Counter exercise took place in The Netherlands in 2013. Building on this experience, the EDA’s C-IED Project Team decided to institutionalize Bison Counter as a bi-annual C-IED dedicated activity under the umbrella of the EDA.
A Distinguished Visitor’s Day is planned for 25 and 26 August.