Countering the IED-threat in CSW

Attacks by Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) have caused serious damage in various environments around the world. The maritime environment is no exception. Such assaults may easily cause minor structural damages up to the loss of life or entire ships. The IED risk is particularly high in Confined and Shallow Waters, especially in harbours, anchorages, and their approaches.

Thus, the North Atlantic Council has tasked Headquarters Allied Command Transformation (ACT) to establish a Community of Interest (CoI) in order to develop feasible solutions for countering IEDs (C-IED) in the maritime environment.

In 2012 ACT formally requested the COE CSW to organise an initial meeting and provide further support regarding the establishment of this specific Maritime CoI. Later that year, the first Workshop was held in Kiel with about 50 civilian and military participants from 13 NATO Nations. One of the main outcomes was that Maritime C-IED should not be regarded as solely a Navy issue, but the aspects of the maritime environment are to be addressed in a joint approach. Consequently the next meeting in 2013 – also organised and hosted by the COE CSW in Kiel – was renamed Conference on C-IED in the Maritime Environment (CME).

In the further course the COE CSW initiated the official NATO terminology process with the result that CME is an official NATO term now. Since 2013 the COE CSW is a permanent member of the C-IED Task Force and the NATO C-IED Working Group, thus ensuring the presence of maritime expertise in the often very “land-heavy” C-IED meetings. The COE CSW acts furthermore as official Liaison Element to related NATO Working Groups like the Force Protection WG and the Maritime Operations WG.

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