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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Certified Explosives Specialists

Certified Explosives Specialists (CES) are ATF’s primary resource in explosives-related matters. CESs are special agents who are highly trained in explosives investigations, the disposal of explosive materials, and all facets of the commercial explosives industry.

They conduct thorough investigations into violations of the Federal explosives laws and support the efforts of ATF, State, and local investigators.

The CES’s primary duties include:

  • Investigating all types of explosions in their jurisdiction.

  • Conducting explosives recovery and disposal operations.

  • Conducting liaison activities.

  • Maintaining knowledge of common military, commercial, and homemade explosives.

  • Providing support for special events.

  • Being an expert on packaging explosives samples.

  • Providing explosives training.

  • Assisting industry operations investigators.

To become a CES, an ATF special agent must undergo a 2-year training program that includes 8 weeks of class work and the examination of explosives scenes under the mentorship of an experienced CES.