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MILENG support and contributes to C-IED

The objectives of military operations – seize initiative, defeat the enemy and restore secured environment – place extraordinary demands on the reaction, synchronization and readiness of mobility forces and assets. IEDs usage proliferates in conflict and crises geographical areas where adversaries have comparatively unequal combat capabilities. These devices are primarily the weapon of the “weak” against the “strong” and are employed when adversaries recognize that themselves are no match for a technologically and numerically superior force. Therefore, they seek to achieve their goals without being decisively engaged.


By Lieutenant Colonel (ROU A) Florin Adrian OBREJA
Military Engineering Centre of Excellence, Support Branch Chief


The IED threat is unpredictable, multi-faceted and asymmetric. Devices are cheap and easy to be manufactured while are massive force multipliers in terms of effects (casualties and international public opinion). Moreover, the threat deeply affects the planning and conduct of operations
The threat can only be countered by adopting a holistic approach. Preventive measures to counter an IED attack can be taken in the preparation phase, e.g. by preventing the proliferation of IED components, in the production phase, or when the IED is brought to the intended scene of attack. In addition, active and passive measures to reduce the effects of IED and to protect vehicles/convoys, facilities and installations as well as dismounted troops must be taken and/or maintained at the highest possible level and developed further. After an attack, the analysis of the scene of the crime takes on particular importance.
That is why the IED threat can only be reduced by a combination of active and passive protection measures tailored to the respective technical and tactical IED capabilities of opposing militant forces as well as by appropriate tactical behavior. This has to be catered for in all MILENG roles and responsibilities. To successfully counter the IED threat, a synergic effort is required at all command levels. To reach this aim, a wide-ranging vision has been adopted, including all sectors of interest and envisaging experimentation of new materials and equipment. MILENG should provide specific support in each core function.



MILENG support to C-IED Action Plan


The C-IED Action Plan supports the Alliance’s efforts to reduce the effects of IEDs and acts as an umbrella for the coordination of the various actors involved in C-IED. It covers all areas of countering improvised explosive devices, from the strategic to the tactical. To take advantage of the hard work won experiences from the operations and to ensure that the Alliance has the ability to operate freely in the future requires the refinement, the full development of the C-IED capability and doctrinal pillars within command structure and nations.

Attack the Network is the proactive pillar of the C-IED approach. MILENG can support this by information gathering and timely dissemination of key MILENG support relating to the IED system. The process involves input to the operational picture and to joint targeting. MILENG capabilities take on increased importance in this process, because complete and updated information will allow friendly forces to evaluate the threat in a more reliable way. Military Search and development of the related capabilities are specific MILENG tasks from the Action Plan to identify the indicators to be verified by the available collection assets in order to assess the activities and the actions which the adversary is going to undertake before carrying out an IED attack. Military Search is an effective and procedural approach to Attack the Networks – it denies the adversary his resources and enables prosecution (Rule of Law) and, as part of military search operations, military engineers are well versed in the particular handling of any discovered explosive materials or related IED materials.


Defeat the device describes largely reactive pillar of tactical activities within “protect” part of the concept of operations defined for C-IED. This is a specific matter of EOD specialists. Nevertheless, MILENG can support neutralization by providing information about the devices (such as characteristics and vulnerabilities) in order to facilitate the action of EOD/IEDD teams on the ground. The interrogation and disposal of IEDs is a dangerous activity requiring highly trained personnel with specialized equipment, both of which are in short supply. C-IED efforts during Alliance operations are limited by the insufficient availability of specialized capabilities such as Military Search and Route Clearance. MILENG COI supports NATO and nations to the development of national, multinational and collective capabilities in these areas to ensure adequate contributions to future operations.

Prepare the forces covers the support measures and activities critical to counter the IED threat. Adequate preparation enhances the force’s ability to maintain the necessary freedom of movement when operating in an IED environment and minimize the impact of such weapons. In order to improve accessibility of professional development, particularly for staff deployed for operations in regional and remote locations without internet access MILENG COE is developing a new course on Mobility Support to Operations, for delivery via digital video disk (DVD) and online delivery mode as a training platform staff and troops. The development of an updated concept for RC is intended to align C-IED Route Clearance and Mobility Operation in order to provide a comprehensive means to achieve Freedom of Movement regardless of the threat or theatre of operations. 



MILENG Support to Defence against Terrorism Program of Work



NATO RC Project is designed to provide collective understanding of NATO RC fundamentals and principles and set conditions for the comprehensive and enduring doctrinal development. The overall success of the project will be measured on how it can improve Alliance’s RC capabilities. Undoubtedly, there will be major advantages when each key player has a clear vision of RC capability development goals and not just a specialized perspective.
The MILENG COE is the lead agency and is sponsored by the Emerging Security Challenges Division (ESCD), which is the liaison between the International Staff and International Military Staff. NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency is supporting in building a robust framework for the project. ESCD, through the framework of the Defence against Terrorism Programme of Work (DAT PoW) offers opportunities for nations to undertake projects that help fill Alliance shortfalls, as specified in the Bi- SCs Defence against Terrorism Military Requirements and Priority Shortfall Areas of the NATO Defence Planning Process. By providing seed money to Allied Lead Nations and agencies, DAT PoW supports the delivery of short-term capability solutions, building on existing and near mature technologies and fostering interoperability and doctrine consolidation. The programme’s capability-based approach to the support of expeditionary operations in a civil-military context is vital to addressing urgent operational requirements, such as gaps in RC capability.
A key product of the project will be an interactive training tool (ADL Course) for staff and planners. The conceptual design of the course consists of a theoretical part, a practical part and an evaluation. The theoretical part consists of five academic modules (Mobility support, Route Clearance, Military Search, MILENG support to C-IED and MILENG support to FP). The practical part consists of virtual training in which theoretical knowledge is applied in a synthetic environment. The course builds on a conceptual framework, best practices, lessons identified and similar references. The main objective is to have available, before summer 2015, a training tool capable to bring, in very short time, staff with different background to the same level of knowledge for planning multinational operations in various situations. 
The MILENG COE support to C-IED is a broad, comprehensive and continuous process.


It contributes and provides input at the highest levels of NATO including providing SME support to the NDPP by identifying MILENG CIED requirements and capabilities.

The MILENG COE provides SME to a broad C-IED COI - There is no major project or task performed by MILENG COE that does not impact on C-IED. From movement and maneuver to sustainability and force protection, from training and education to concepts and doctrines C-IED is always taken into account.