"To represent this for a jury, we can't take them out to the city area and show them the post-blast scene," [Bob Heckman] explains. "This is why the total station works great, because you can take a reference point on a surface of the earth via GPS satellite, which is the center of the blast, then you use the laser designators for distance," Heckman added. "Once this is logged into the computer, every piece of evidence is permanently marked on the surface of the earth and printed...
BOMB RECONSTRUCTION TRAINING By Robert Galvin Post-blast Photos by Duke Dutch practice Train for explosives response and investigations T he heightened level of terrorism in the United States and the Middle East has led to mor e focused attention on an especially acute tactic: bombs planted in lar ge vehicles for immediate or timed detonation. For years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have investigated bombings in the United States. In the late 1990s, more advanced classes were introduced to provide training for much larger bombs, specifically bombs placed in large vehicles. Bomb technicians from the FBI and ATF who can analyze explosive devices work and train with local first responders and law enforcement agencies. In particular, the ATF has been holding post-blast reconstruction courses for 35 years. The Large Vehicle Bomb (LVB) classes have been Far top: Shown are post-blast remnants from a large military dump truck, which was loaded tremendously popular, attracting mostly seasoned bomb with an improvised explosive device (IED) and technicians and investigators. detonated at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in 29 Palms, Calif. Middle and So far, roughly 120 courses have been taught over the last 12 lower: At Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, a moving van is surrounded by vehicles to mimic a 52 Law Enforcement Technology ■ August 2010 ■ www.officer.com vehicle in traffic (before, during, and after blast). BOMB RECONSTRUCTION TRAINING Photos courtesy of Sokkia The ATF’s post blast reconstruction courses have been instructing students on post-blast scene management and investigations for 35 years. The truck pictured at top right was blown up on a training course in California as part of the LVB training. years, with each class comprising involve detonations of any kind, or solutions to defense and national 38 to 50 students who enroll from reports of stolen explosives, recover- security challenges, helped develop across the United States, as well as ies of explosives, and people illegally the FBI’s LVB course. Heckman from foreign countries. trying to obtain explosives. No mat- was a bomb technician who helped ter what the incident may be, “The manage the blast scenes of the Post-blast scene management threat is always there,” Groh says. 1993 World Trade Center and 1995
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