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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

ATF Press Release

Contact: Douglas Shores
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 6, 2024

ATF Announces 2024 Raven’s Challenge Interoperability Exercise

WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Center for Explosives Training and Research (NCETR) in partnership with the U.S. Army Headquarters, Department of the Army G-38 – Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), announce the locations for the 2024 Raven's Challenge Interoperability Exercises. The event trains participants on preparing and countering the threat of improvised explosive devices.  The training occurs at multiple locations throughout the U.S. as follows:

  • March 10 - 15, Joint Base Lewis - McChord, DuPont, Washington
  • April 7 – 12, Fort Walker, Bowling Green, Virginia
  • May 5 – 10, Camp Williams, Bluffdale, Utah
  • June 9 - 14, Fort Knox, Radcliff, Kentucky
  • July 21 – 26, 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 (PSBS) in the Pacific Northwest. The exercise matured into what is now the largest EOD/PSBS training exercise in the world. Last year’s challenge had more than 820 participants and training staff from the U.S. and six countries.

“This training grows partnerships between public safety bomb squads and military Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams in the prevention, protection, mitigation, and response to worldwide threats, aiding the Defense Support of Civil Authorities” said Greg Smith, ATF Raven’s Challenge Acting Program Manager. “This teamwork, combined with our realistic scenarios in diverse environments, keep this training program at the cutting edge of full-scale global exercises.”

Raven’s Challenge is funded by the U.S. Army and 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. Exercise scenarios emphasize capabilities between PSBS and military EOD teams in operational environments. They involve 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 (NATO) nations but also other European and North African nations. 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 PSBS technician annual training requirements, Raven’s Challenge guides policy regarding C-IED national preparedness efforts.

ATF NCETR consolidates the agency’s key explosives, fire, canine, and response operations at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. NCETR consists of the Explosives Enforcement and Training Division; Explosives Research and Development Division; and the Fire Investigation and Arson Enforcement Division. Other components include the National Canine Division in Front Royal, Virginia.

ATF provides training facilities and the 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.


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