A bilateral course on “Investigations after Explosions” was held in Cartagena from March 31st to April 4th. It was attended by four members from Spanish Mine Countermeasures Divers Unit (UBMCM), two amphibious sappers from the Army EOD Unit, and eight explosive disposal technicians from the 8th U.S. Mobile Unit (EODMU-8).
The exercise was organized and conducted by the FBI and the EOD Division of the U.S. Navy with support from the Spanish Navy MCM Force at the Combat Divers facilities in Algameca Naval Station.
The course was designed to try and attain a high level of training on evidence collection after terrorist actions in maritime and underwater environments, helping the units concerned to coordinate and conduct the first investigations after an explosion, and support drafting the final analysis. Those activities will serve to support subsequent legal actions or prosecutions, and to gather intelligence on criminal procedures and assets used by terrorist organizations posing a threat to an expeditionary military mission.
The exercise consisted of a series of drills related to search, localization, identification and securing the evidence found in an area which has suffered an underwater explosion, establishing the chain of custody over such evidence and drafting the corresponding reports.
One of the experts present in the course was the chief of the investigation process after the terrorist attack against the U.S. Navy destroyer ‘USS Cole’ in Yemen in 2001 which sustained several casualties.
Press Release, April 2, 2014; Image: Spanish Navy