EU engaged in training CBRN first responders in Baghdad
Between 9-12 September, the European Union has been engaged with Iraqi first responders in the field of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) risk mitigation in order to strengthen their capacities. 28 people participated in the training, among them representatives from Iraqi Civil Defence, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Iraqi National Monitoring Authority for Non-proliferation.
Iraqi first responders face real CBRN terrorism threats with possible attacks using especially sulphur mustard and chlorine.
A first training for Iraqi first responders took place in July 2018 in Amman, Jordan, at the Jordan Civil Defence. The training was highly appreciated and a follow-up training was recommended. It was suggested by the on-site assistance (OSA) expert of the European Commission to conduct the training in Iraq.
The training was hosted by the Iraqi Civil Defence Officer`s Training Centre, which could serve as a regional CBRN training centre for First Responders in the future, highlighting the “Schools of Excellence” concept established in the Middle East region. The EU and the partner countries of the EU CBRN CoE could profit from the expertise gained by Iraqi Civil Defense over the last years managing CBRN incidents.
The location of the training being in Iraq offered the opportunity to other ministries such as the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to send additional participants. Therefore, the training was also aimed for governmental officials as a CBRN awareness training.
The content of the training was:
Opening of the training was done by Brigadier General Hassan Ibrahim Hassan, Assistant Director General of Iraq’s Civil Defence. On the last day, trainees were awarded with a certificate handed out by EU charge d'affaires a.i. Jean Bernard Bolvin, INMA (Iraqi National Monitoring Authority for Non-Proliferation) Acting Authority Chairman Kadhim A.H.Jasim, the Iraqi National Focal Point for the EU CBRN Centres of Excellence Initiative Dr. Riad Al-Tamimi, Colonel Mahmood Delli and by the EU key expert for the Middle East region Dipl.-Ing. Günter Povoden.
The training was conducted in the framework of the OSA (on-site assistance) Project (P56 - On-Site Technical Assistance to the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Centres of Excellence Secretariats in Algiers and Tashkent) organized by the key expert (on-site assistance) for the Middle East region and supported by 3 additional short-term experts. The training team received outstanding support regarding all logistical issues by the Iraqi National Monitoring Authority for Non-proliferation (INMA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The practical part of the training with Iraqi first responders was done with equipment (protective suits, masks, chemical, radiological and biological detectors, sampling equipment, etc.) purchased in the framework of project P34 -Strengthening capacities in CBRN event response and related medical emergency response under strengthened CBRN event preparedness, funded by the EU.
The EU CBRN CoE is a worldwide initiative led, financed and implemented by the European Commission, specifically the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), in close coordination with the EEAS and with the support of the UN (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute - UNICRI) and other international organisations and local experts.
The Initiative aims to mitigate CBRN risks of criminal, accidental or natural origin by promoting a coherent policy, improving coordination and preparedness at national and regional levels and by offering a comprehensive approach covering legal, scientific, enforcement and technical issues.
The Initiative involves more than 61 countries and has been launched in 8 different regions of the world, namely: African Atlantic Façade; Central Asia; Eastern and Central Africa; Gulf Cooperation Council Countries; Middle East; North Africa; South East Asia; South East and Eastern Europe. Each of these regions has a functioning Regional Secretariat. The Regional Secretariats ensure cooperation and coordination with partner countries and are responsible for supporting them with the identification of needs, the formulation of regional project proposals, the development of national action plans and the implementation of the projects.
As a result of the on-going activities of EU CBRN CoE initiative, over 80 projects – addressing countries’ needs - have been or are implemented since 2011.
Further information can be obtained on the CBRN CoE web portal: http://www.cbrn-coe.eu