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Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation
CBRN Field Exercises

Tackling CBRN threats in real-life scenarios

CBRN field exercises are coordinated activities which present potential real-life scenarios under simulated situations that law enforcement officers, emergency services and other response units might face if deployed in case of a CBRN threat.  

They represent a useful tool to test and build up their technical and operational capabilities in the event of a real-life CBRN emergency. For instance, the surveillance and arrest of terrorists in possession of CBRN agents, the detection of an illicit storage and clandestine CBRN laboratory, the response to CBRN illicit trafficking at border crossing points, or the neutralisation of explosives, among others.

The EU CBRN CoE has been supporting several CBRN field exercises across the 8 participating regions with the aim of strengthening Partner Countries’ capacities to cope with, and respond to, different CBRN emergencies. With several countries involved in each exercise, these training events can engage hundreds of participants from national agencies, international organisations and subject experts working together towards a common goal: to make Partner Countries and regions a safer place. 

CBRN field exercises supported by the CoE

  1. Middle East, 2021
    Improving first response to a C&R terrorism threat

    Objective: Held in Lebanon, the two-day field exercise tested first response capabilities during the different phases of a terrorism emergency involving Chemical and Radioactive agents. The first scenario simulated an incident in an illicit hazardous material storage and terrorist laboratory, while the second planned an attack on a VIP convoy using chemical materials and explosive devices.

    Participants: It involved more than 200 participants from several Lebanese agencies and 18 external observers from EU Members States (Italian Army, French Swat, SCK-CEN) and international organisations (Interpol, OPCW, League of Arab States and NATO School).

  2. Central Asia, 2019
    Enhacing preparedness and response to C&B terrorism

    Objective: Held in Uzbekistan, the three-day exercise tested preparedness and response capabilities to a terrorism incident dealing with the release of Chemical and Biological materials. The scenarios simulated surveillance and arrest of terrorists in possession of such agents, detection of an illicit storage and clandestine laboratory, neutralisation of explosives, search for chemical devices in a public place, and more.

    Participants: It involved more than 250 participants from 16 Partner Countries, EU Member States, and representatives of international organisations, diplomatic missions, independent experts and national authorities.

  3. Southeast & East Europe, 2018
    Strengthening prevention of R&N illicit trafficking

    Objective: Held in Georgia, the four-day exercise involved three different scenarios on countering and responding to the illicit trafficking of Radiological and Nuclear materials. The exercises tested detection, identification and safe retrieval of radioactive agents in different settings, particularly at border crossing points, green borders, and airport terminals.

    Participants: It involved participants from 8 Partner Countries, as well as representatives from INTERPOL, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, and the United States, among others.

  4. Eastern & Central Africa, 2019
    Strengthening prevention of R&N illicit trafficking

    Objective: Held in Zambia, the practical exercise build capacities for the prevention of illicit trafficking of Radiological and Nuclear materials. The exercises covered cross border investigation of R&N material, illicit trafficking on land, sea and air; nuclear forensics investigation; radiological crime scene management; and uranium transport.

  5. Southeast Asia, 2018
    Identifying priorities for a CBRN Emergency Response Plan

    Objective: Covering Partner Countries in the Southeast region, this series of table-top exercises supported the identification of different priorities for the development of a CBRN Emergency Response Plan. This exercises aimed to enhance CBRN capacities in first response, biosafety and biosecurity, awareness raising, and legal framework.

    Participants: It involved governmental authorities and national agencies of Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

  6. Central Asia, 2018
    Improving C&B emergency preparedness

    Objective: Held in Uzbekistan, the three-day exercise support Chemical & Biological emergency preparedness, an acute problem in Partner Countries of the region. Through a mixed C&B scenario, experts trained in analysis of suspicious substances at laboratories, diagnostics and treatments, or “reach back” practices, among others.

    Participants: It involved diverse services from public health and primary health care, law enforcement, forensic experts, CBRN response units, and more.

Field exercise in action