ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Arson & Explosives Training Programs

Updated: 04/02/12

Crimes involving arson and explosives are the most devastating crimes confronting our society. They destroy property, disrupt human lives, and place an ever increasing economic burden upon our citizens. The increasing number of violent acts involving arson and explosives has established a greater need for state and local investigators with a high level of expertise.

In response to this problem, and by virtue of its statutory authority under Title XI of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, ATF initiates investigations and assists in state and local bomb and arson investigations. ATF’s experience in these investigations has shown that a cooperative effort between trained state and local officers and ATF results in more effective investigations.

In order for law enforcement to adequately combat these violations, cooperation among federal, state, and local agencies is essential to achieve this coordinated effort.

As part of this cooperative effort, ATF offers training in arson and explosives for state and local investigators and prosecutors. Click here for a copy of the State and Local Training Registration Request.

Advanced Explosive Disposal Techniques
(Course ID EXPL-CS-0001)

Program Description: In 1999, ATF explosive experts recognized a disturbing fact: Bomb technicians in the United States were more likely to be killed or injured while conducting an explosives disposal operation than any other mission, including attempting to render safe an improvised explosive device. Moreover, numerous bomb squad accident investigations conducted by ATF revealed that additional training was the single most effective way to attempt any reduction in the number of these accidents.

In response to this need, the ATF Office of Training and Professional Development, in cooperation with the ATF Explosives Technology Branch, developed the AEDT training program for bomb technicians and explosives specialists. AEDT provides in depth classroom and range instruction in virtually every aspect of explosives disposal.

ATF provides travel and lodging in addition to training, classroom materials and range tools. Students are also reimbursed a daily per diem rate as determined by GSA. The course is delivered at the National Center for Explosives Training and Research (NCETR) located at Redstone Arsenal, AL.

Curriculum includes:

  • Relevant Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) laws and regulations
  • Relevant Department of Transportation laws and regulations
  • Explosives storage laws and regulations
  • Explosives Disposal Range Management and Operational Planning
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Disposal techniques for most types of explosives
  • Fireworks and pyrotechnic hazards

Duration of course: Two-week period with Monday of first week and Friday of second week as travel days. The weekend is open. Eight (8) days instruction.

Prerequisites for Attendance: Applicant must be a full time public safety official trained as a Bomb Technician and whose mission includes destruction/disposal of explosive materials. Selections are based on several factors, which include but are not limited to, current assignment and geographical location.

Application: Download ATF F 6400.1 — State and Local Training Registration Request. Send the completed application via email to ExpETB@atf.gov or fax to the Explosives External Training Branch at 256-261-7501. Those selected will be contacted via email with available course dates.

Course Dates:

Course From To Location
TBA TBA TBA Redstone Arsenal, AL

Contact: AEDT Program Manager at 256-261-7512 for additional information.


Post Blast Investigative Techniques I
(Course ID EXPL-CS-0013)

Program Description: This is a basic post blast course designed to teach a systematic method of investigating an explosion scene. The course provides instruction in explosives identification and applications, explosives effects, IED component recognition and evidence collection. The course is delivered at a variety of locations throughout the United States based on requests from ATF Field Divisions.

The course is comprised of classroom participation, an explosives demonstration and actual investigation of a post blast scene.

Students must provide their own transportation, lodging and meals. ATF provides instructors, classroom supplies, training materials, and range tools. Student selection is conducted by the ATF Field Office hosting the training. Please contact the local ATF Field Office hosting the course for more information.

Some of the topics covered include:

  • Introduction to Explosives
  • Introduction to Improvised Explosive Devices (IED)
  • Post blast scene processing and forensics
  • ATF team concept

Length of Training: 5 class days

Prerequisites for Attendance: Applicant must be a full time public safety official whose primary mission is to investigate bombing incidents and other explosions. Selections are intended to facilitate coordination of agencies in the area of operation where the training is being conducted.

Application: Download ATF F 6400.1 — State and Local Training Registration Request. Contact the local ATF field office where the training site is being held for transmittal of application.

Course Dates:

Course From To Location
TBA TBA TBA Various

Contact: PBIT Program Manager at 256-261-7503 for additional information.


Advanced Origin and Cause/Courtroom Techniques
(Course ID ARSN-CS-0002)

This program is designed to enhance the origin and cause investigative skills of the public service fire investigator. It involves the in-depth study of fire dynamics, fire chemistry, electrical fire causation, burn patter analysis and fire scene documentation. Instruction will be presented through classroom lectures and practical exercises. The curriculum involves fire scene processing with an emphases on the practical applications of scientific knowledge. Students are required to process fire scenes utilizing the “team concept” and “scientific approach” and prepare technical reports documenting their findings for use in court proceedings as an expert witness. A written test is administered at the completion of the course, as well as a final practical exercise, and a mock trial which is designed to prepare the student to testify as an expert witness. The course is designed for experienced fire investigators and is highly advanced and technical in nature. Because of the advanced level of this program, student selection is considered vital to the overall effectiveness of the program. To meet minimum background prerequisites, applicants must be full-time public service employees whose workloads are focused primarily upon the investigation of arson related crimes. Additionally, the applicants must be certified Fire Investigators, OR have equivalent experience. In addition to the registration request, all applicants must submit an extensive Curriculum Vitae, which documents their experience in arson investigation, origin and cause determination, and courtroom testimony, if any. It is suggested that students have completed CFItrainer.net and course R205 or R206 at the National Fire Academy (NFA).

Course Dates:

Course From To Location
TBA TBA TBA Emmitsburg, MD

Contact: The Arson Training Branch at 301-447-3437 for additional information.


Home Made Explosives (Identification, Process, Disposal)(Course ID EXPL-CS-0018)

The course target audience is Military EOD, State and Local Bomb Technicians, ATF Certified Explosives Specialists, and Explosives Enforcement Officers. The pre–requisites for this course are successful completion of Hazardous Device School and ATF’s Advance Explosives Disposal Techniques (AEDT). The pre–requisites are waived for all Military EOD. The objectives of the course are to expose personnel to the precursors used in the manufacture of homemade explosives, Identify the hazards of mixed or partially mixed precursor chemicals, identification for sampling of suspected chemicals, evidentiary collection, scene Processing, remote methods of removing, and the safe Disposal of such HME hazards.

Program Costs: State and local students – Tuition, lodging and airfare costs for this program are being covered by ATF. At this time, we are no longer able to reimburse mileage for those who drive personally/agency owned vehicles to the training. In addition, we do not cover miscellaneous expenses such as airline baggage fees, vehicle parking or taxi/shuttle, incidental expenses such as laundry costs and ATM fees. State and Local students will be reimbursed for airfare and meals (M&IE) by direct deposit, following submission of a travel voucher at the conclusion of the training program. Military students – Tuition is covered, you will be responsible for all travel expenses (transportation, lodging and per diem). When submitting the application please enter your HDS certification expiration date and your AEDT graduation date in the Briefly Describe Your Area of Responsibility and Duties section. Thank you, we look forward to working with you.

Application: Download ATF F 6400.1 — State and Local Training Registration Request. Send the completed application via fax to 256-261-7501 or email to ExpETB@atf.gov. Those selected will be contacted via email with available course dates.

Course Dates:

Course From To Location
ID EXPL-CS-0018 December 10, 2012 December 14, 2012 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 January 14, 2013 January 18, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 January 28, 2013 February 1, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 February 11, 2013 February 15, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 February 25, 2013 March 1, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 March 11, 2013 March 15, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 March 18, 2013 March 22, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 April 1, 2013 April 5, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 April 15, 2013 April 19, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 April 29, 2013 May 3, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 May 13, 2013 May 17, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 June 3, 2013 June 7, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 June 17, 2013 June 21, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 July 15, 2013 July 19, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 July 22, 2013 July 26, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 August 5, 2013 August 9, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 August 19, 2013 August 23, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 September 9, 2013 September 13, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL
ID EXPL-CS-0018 September 23, 2013 September 27, 2013 Redstone Arsenal, AL

Contact: HME Program Manager at 256-261-7516 for additional information. for additional questions