5th EOD Lessons Learned Seminar

          One of the NATO Explosive Ordnance Disposal Centre of Excellence (NATO EOD COE) mission pillars is Lessons Learned and Analysis in the field of EOD. Beside the other assigned tasks, the Lessons Learned and Analysis Section (LLAS) dedicates its attention to the ambition to serve as a multinational HUB for information sharing. In harmony with that LLAS started, maintains, and develops two decisive projects: EOD Lessons Learned Database (EOD LL dtbs) and EOD LL Seminars organised yearly. Both projects require dedicated effort not only from the EOD COE but also information sharing and expertise support from EOD Community of Interest (EOD COI).

At the beginning, the EOD Lessons Learned Seminars were designed to provide a common platform for NATO countries to exchange information and experience from EOD operators’ deployment in ISAF. With the ending of ISAF mission it was reconsidered to make the seminar scope wider. Therefore, from 2014 the seminar topics and sharing experience were not attached to the latest international/coalition operation any more. So, more room was given to training and preparation for deployments and lessons from homeland missions and commitments. This way the seminar is being gradually transformed from the very EOD operators experience sharing to a more complex meeting where various aspects of EOD are opened and discussed. What is more, PfP nations were invited to take active part in the seminar in 2015 for the first time.

This year, further steps forward were scheduled to develop the seminar objectives. Firstly, the 5th EOD LL Seminar was held in the ELIZABETH Hotel, in Trencin, Slovakia, on 25-27 OCT 2016. The all previous meetings were organized in Bratislava (the Capital of the Slovak Republic) and the activity classification that was higher than NATO Unclassified. As the high meeting security influenced PfP nations´ participation negatively it was decided that the EOD LL Seminar 2016 would be NATO UNCLASSIFIED. The EOD COE organizers were aware of positive and limiting aspects relating to both changes (meant location and security level).

The biggest shift in the seminar designing was done in tailoring the agenda. A stated intent was not limited only to:

  • Provide a platform for mutual experience sharing on the EOD Operators and Staff Officer levels in order to share lessons from real situations
  • Enhance further networking and promote mutual trust within EOD COI.

But it interconnected lessons from the past and thoughts about the future EOD by opening new perspectives on some EOD topics via syndicate works in favour of EOD COI.

1 Day Session Topics Audience/speakers
  1A. EOD Case studies/incidents and Operators' lessons EOD operators to share their lessons with plenary
2 Day Session Topics Audience/speakers
  2B. Future threats/environment and some recognized trends in ENY TTPs EOD Staff officers to share their perspectives within plenary and subsequent mixed (EOD Operators and Staff Officers) syndicates
2C. Ongoing and future national/multinational EOD related projects
2D. Lessons from EOD capability building/developments
3 Day (half-day) Session Audience/speakers Topics
  Doctrines update EOD Staff officers to share their perspectives within plenary and subsequent mixed (EOD Operators and Staff Officers) syndicates
EOD personnel proficiencies related to HME

What is more, the NATO EOD COE invited respective producers and other entities to present their solutions and products on 25 OCT 2016 during organized the 5th EOD Lessons Learned Seminar (EOD LL SEM)

Based on feedback from previous years the NATO EOD COE authorities believe that the EOD LL Seminar series provide not only an excellent platform for sharing EOD experience and lessons but it has a potential to become a regular EOD working session supporting EOD Community of Interest needs and requirements at conceptual and tactical levels.