Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
At The Front Line Seattle Field Division
For Immediate Release
August 13, 2013
Helen Dunkel, Special Agent, PIO
Office: (925) 557-2815
Cell: (925) 202-8135
Law Enforcement and Military Bomb Teams Train Side by Side
ATF Seattle Field Division Host Raven's Challenge VII
SEATTLE, Wash. – James Modzelewski, Acting Special Agent in Charge Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Seattle Field Division; Colleen Wilson Chief of Police, Port of Seattle Police Department Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit; Jeff Holmgren Federal Security Director, Transportation Security Administration Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Explosive Specialist; Lt. Col Peter Hudspeth, 741st EOD Battalion, Washington Army National Guard; and Lt. Col. Frank Davis 3rd Ordnance EOD Battalion, Joint Base Lewis McChord; announced the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training entitled, “Raven Challenge VII.”
Numerous regional law enforcement and military Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams from the United States, Canada, and Mexico traveled to Elma, Wash. to participate in a series of live fire exercises of hyper-realistic bomb scenarios. This regional training exercise is conducted in conjunction with the West Coast component of the Joint Program Office, Hazardous Device School, EOD, and Public Safety Bomb Squad Exercise at a national level.
"This is the 7th Annual Raven’s Challenge, which is designed to build and exercise realistic regional interagency capability to respond and deal with explosives threats, and to evaluate law enforcement and military interoperability. This training is planned and supported by many agencies that have nexus to explosives threats and a responsibility to keep the public safe. The scenarios include the detonation of a bomb on a bus with a secondary device in a tunnel, a Vehicle Bourne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) near a transportation node, a booby trap device in a sealed container, IED’s on critical infrastructure targets, and many more.
ATF has pooled many resources; including Certified Explosive Specialist, Special Agents, and prior military EOD; trained as medics and Explosive Enforcement Officers, this team of explosive experts built and prepared explosive devices utilized in the scenarios and will operate the training lanes.
The Raven’s Challenge is intended to increase knowledge and experience in Render Safe Procedures (RSP), field assessment of evidence, and in the safe recovery of evidence for forensic analysis. Through hyper-realistic scenarios the teams coordinate procedures and utilize intersectional communication and information sharing, which is paramount when responding to a critical incident. Success depends on the interoperability between multiple agencies and departments, as well as military EOD and Public Safety Bomb Squad teams.
The EOD Teams in attendance are from the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, and Alaska and train for a three day period. This exercise series allows its supporters to pool resources and keep costs down. New technology was integrated, which enhances the capability of EOD Teams.
“This Training Program is the essence of great collaboration and teamwork and without our partners the curriculum would suffer greatly,” said Special Agent in Charge Modzelewski. “ATF would like to thank our partners who contribute their invaluable resources to make this possible.”
“We are excited for the opportunity to work alongside and share best practices with some of the best bomb technicians on the west coast,” said Lt. Col. Hudspeth. “We owe special thanks to the ATF for their leadership and hard work in coordinating this exercise.”
“The Port of Seattle Explosives Specialists protect the critical infrastructure and the public in travel status at the airport and cruise terminals,” said Chief Wilson. The explosives challenge training helps us practice for worst case scenarios and assess our capabilities and equipment in a team environment. “We are grateful for ATF’s continuing support.”
“This training exercise will highlight interagency coordination/communications between Military EOD, Public Safety Bomb Squads and both federal/local law enforcement agencies, said Lt. Col. Davis. “We're extremely honored to be a part of this event as it's a great opportunity to train and work with these professionals.”
“This Training Program is the essence of great collaboration and teamwork and without our partners the curriculum would suffer greatly,” said James Modzelewski. “ATF would like to thank our partners who contribute their invaluable resources and make this possible.”
The following agencies supported this challenge, ATF, Port of Seattle Police Department, Transportation Security Administration, and Washington Army National Guard, Joint Base Lewis McChord.
ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating violent crime and explosives violations. More information on ATF can be found at www.atf.gov.