From 15 to 17 May 2012, for the second time, the Joint Force Training Centre hosted the annual NATO Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Conference.
This biggest NATO event devoted to C-IED problems took place in Bydgoszcz for the second year in a row and again created a wide platform for exchanging knowledge and experience regarding this serious issue. It was the seventh conference of this kind in NATO's history.
Approximately one hundred military and civilian specialists from thirty nations representing NATO, Partnership for Peace and NATO Contact Countries responded to the invitation of the Allied Command Transformation (ACT), the main organizer of the event, and arrived in Bydgoszcz. The ACT's choice to host the C-IED Conference at the JFTC was not incidental.
The Centre is well experienced in the area of countering improvised explosive devices. "Our current training priority or core business is to train Regional Commanders and their staff for the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and to assist them in developing strong command teams able to support their commanders in sound decision making and execution of their missions. We also provide focused NATO training to the deploying security forces advisory teams. It is quite natural, that the issue of countering the IEDs is indispensable part of such training provided by the JFTC. In addition to that, we host specialized C-IED Attack the Network Tactical Awareness Courses and just recently we have hosted the first NATO Intelligence Fusion for Threat Network Analysis Course ."- said Major General Pavel Macko, the JFTC Commander, in his introduction.
The Conference was a combination of lectures, discussions and break-out sessions. The organizers invited the most experienced Subject Matter Experts (SME) and other professionals on C-IED issues, including guests from the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), established by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in order to combat the IED threat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and from the United Kingdom Defence Exploitation Facility (DEF). The agenda of the conference was divided into a few subjects. The participants talked about the future of C-IED in NATO, a comprehensive approach to C-IED, technical exploitation, network analysis and targeting and institutionalization of C-IED. Open Forum Panel discussions at the end of every session drew together the themes from the proceeding presentations from each topic and created an opportunity to provide personal or national perspectives on discussed problems. They also helped to capture issues that would be developed through the NATO C-IED Campaign and Action Plans.
Also this year the C-IED Conference met its objectives and was successfully completed. As IED problem is one of the most significant threats in current NATO missions, the outcome of the conference will have a significant influence on NATO approach in the years to come.