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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Contact: Public Affairs Division

ATF National Center for Explosives Training and Research Announces 2022 Raven’s Challenge Interoperability Exercise

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Center for Explosives Training and Research, in partnership with the U.S. Army Headquarters, Department of the Army G-38 – Explosive Ordnance Disposal, announces the 2022 Raven's Challenge Interoperability Exercise, an international training event to prepare and counter the threat of improvised explosive devices. The exercise runs at multiple locations throughout the U.S. March 6 through June 17, 2022, as follows:

  • March 6 - 11, Camp Blanding, Starke, Florida
  • April 3 - 8, Camp Gruber, Oklahoma
  • May 15 - 20, Camp Williams, Utah
  • June 12 - 17, State Preparedness Training Center, Oriskany, New York

Raven’s Challenge began in 2004 as an ATF-led training exercise for military EOD teams and civilian public safety bomb squads in Seattle. The exercise matured into what is now the largest EOD/PSBS training exercise in the world.

Raven’s Challenge is funded by the U.S. Army and is executed by ATF and partner agencies including the U.S. Army, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and local and state law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

This annual, interagency counter-IED exercise continues to be the cutting edge of EOD/PSBS training. Focusing on emerging threats and scene exploitation are key elements to anticipate future IED threats. Scenarios will focus on capabilities between public safety bomb squads and military EOD teams in operational environments. It involves EOD teams from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps, including active-duty, reserve, and guard components; local and state PSBS; Department of Defense; Department of Justice; and international law enforcement. International participation has increased to include not only North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations but also other European and North African nations. In fact, Raven’s Challenge is a NATO-recognized C-IED exercise.

The close collaboration and participation of these organizations is a testament to the C-IED expertise and professionalism of all involved and the importance of the subject matter. Supporting military and public safety bomb technician annual training requirements, Raven’s Challenge objectives tie directly to guiding policy regarding C-IED national preparedness efforts.

The 2021 Raven’s Challenge included 567 lane iterations comprising more than 2,500 personnel involved in the participation and execution of the exercise. This included EOD units within the U.S. armed services; local and state PSBS; and federal bomb technicians, investigators, observers, and various support personnel. Exercise participants from across the U.S. and six countries participated in last year’s Raven’s Challenge.

Raven’s Challenge continues to grow public safety partnerships between international, state, and local jurisdictions for the prevention, protection, mitigation, and response to man-made threats faced by our nations and their communities. These collaborations, coupled with tailored scenarios, which expose participants to emerging threats in diverse environments, keep this full-scale exercise extremely relevant and at the cutting edge of C-IED global exercises.

ATF NCETR consolidates all the agency’s key explosives, fire, canine, and response operations out of Huntsville, Alabama, with two training locations. It consists of the Explosives Enforcement and Training Division; Explosives Research and Development Division; and the Fire Investigation and Arson Enforcement Division, all located at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. There is also the National Canine Division in Front Royal, Virginia, and the National Explosives Task Force in Washington, District of Columbia.

ATF provides outstanding training facilities and the unmatched expertise of its training staff in delivering life-saving advanced explosives and arson training for our nation’s explosives handlers, bomb technicians, criminal investigators, and military EOD teams. The main NCETR facility and explosives ranges in Huntsville make this center a unique resource in the fight against explosives-related violent crime and the government-wide C-IED efforts.

For more information and videos, visit Raven's Challenge Interoperability Exercise.