Post-blast practice by ProQuest


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          By Robert Galvin


                                                                                                                                   Photos by Duke Dutch
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   ■   vehicle in traffic (before, during, and after blast).

                                                                                                                             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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