Today, the European Centre for Manual Neutralisation Capabilities (ECMAN) was officially opened in Vienna. The ceremony was attended by the Austrian Chief of Defence, General Othmar Commenda and high level representatives from the Ministries of Defence of the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Sweden, NATO accredited COEs (CIED, EOD, JCBRN Defence), German Federal and Local Criminal Police, the German CIED Information Centre, the Swedish CBRN Defence Centre, Swedish EOD and Demining Centre, the Italian CIED Centre, as well as military attaches in Austria and the European Defence Agency (EDA).
ECMAN is a follow-on activity of the EDA Programme on Manual Neutralisation Techniques Courses and Exercises (MNT C&E). Manual neutralisation techniques are the most advanced improvised device disposal proficiencies, which enable experienced and specially trained operators to access, diagnose, and manually dispose of hazardous material. These tactics, techniques and procedures need to be applied where the use of regular explosive ordnance procedures or of energetic weapons are inappropriate, and manual improvised explosive devices’ neutralisation capabilities are the last resort.
At the opening ceremony in Vienna a static demonstration of the equipment, including explanations of different scenarios, was provided. Additionally, during a live demonstration participants of the ceremony gained some insights into the skill sets of MNT operators.
The aim of the Centre is to provide participating Member States with expertise and experience in the field of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) threats. It provides opportunities to enhance education and training, improve interoperability and capabilities, assists in doctrine and equipment development & testing and validates concepts through experimentation. ECMAN consists of permanent and non-permanent international staff from the participating Member States at the premises of the Logistic School in Vienna.
The participating Member States are Austria, as the lead nation, as well as Germany, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Italy and Sweden.