You are on page 1of 2


JIEDDO: Counter-IED Technology & Information for the EOD Community
By Michael Coderre The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) is the Department of Defense’s lead counter-IED entity, including IED-related support to the U.S. military’s explosives ordnance disposal (EOD) community. Working hand-in-hand with military, government, academic, industry and international partners, JIEDDO leverages all available resources to deliver emerging capabilities and critical information to EOD technicians combating IEDs in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond. JIEDDO divides its counter-IED mission along three lines of operation: Attack the Network, Defeat the Device and Train the Force. Defeat the Device, which most directly supports the EOD community, is the organization’s line of operation which includes actions and activities to detect IEDs, neutralize the devices before they can be detonated and mitigate the effects of IED detonation at the point of attack. JIEDDO’s lead component for Defeat the Device support to the EOD community is the Technology Requirement and Integration Division (TRID). Led by Capt. Frank Morneau until August 2009, TRID maintains a long record of support to EOD technicians. TRID’s connections to the EOD community run all the way up to its leadership. Morneau, is a 26-year veteran of the Navy, and deeply connected to the Navy’s EOD community. His leadership at JIEDDO came from a culmination of experience as a Navy master EOD officer, following assignments to the Navy’s EOD Mobile Units SIX and EIGHT, EOD Group Two and Task Force 56 (Navy Expeditionary Combat Forces Central). Morneau’s units – composed of combat-ready EOD sailors – received commendations for missions during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Joint Forces, Determined Response and Operation Iraqi Freedom, supporting both European Command and Central Command. “They’re not going to sell real estate today. They’re not going to check on the stock market. By the end of the day, they will put their lives in danger again and again to make sure the defense of this country is forthright to them,” said Morneau, as he handed over command of EOD Group Two following his assignment to JIEDDO. “By the end of the day, some of them will render safe nearly 40 IEDs.” Morneau was selected by the Navy for promotion to Rear Admiral (Lower Half ) in June 2009 and left the organization to assume command elsewhere in August 2009. His successor will likely have the same connections to the EOD community, as the position is billeted for an O-6 grade Navy EOD officer. From capabilities like the Ahura handheld homemade explosives (HME) detector and FIDO, the chemical “sniffer” developed to help EOD robots detect IEDs, TRID has helped develop, fund and field the technologies successfully used today by EOD technicians. Beyond technical, device-defeat capabilities, JIEDDO provides continuous support and information to the EOD community through its development of the Weapons Technical Intelligence (WTI) program. Weaving together forensic and technical analysis of IEDs to target insurgent, terrorist and criminal networks, WTI provides critical information to U.S. and international forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. “WTI is a blended capability for the United States and its allies in the counter-IED fight,” said Lt. Col. Mark Wickham, a United Kingdom officer serving as JIEDDO’s WTI expert. “It brings nontraditional intelligence partners into the process and makes information fusion possible.” The collection process begins on the battlefield, as units in Iraq and Afghanistan discover or recover IEDs at a tactical level. Once detected, the devices are rendered safe by EOD teams and initial data is gathered by a specialized weapons intelligence team (WIT). “At each phase, information is gathered to build a common picture of enemy capabilities, inform commanders of new developments and support material developers in building necessary countermeasures,” continued Wickham. “This starts as soon as EOD and WIT teams begin exploiting a device.” Upon initial examination, the devices are sent to battlefield labs called Combined Explosives Exploitation Cells (CEXC) for immediate, in-depth forensic and technical analysis. The information collected is key to providing evidentiary support to the prosecution of bomb-makers, leading Iraq’s CEXC and counter-IED Task Force Troy to begin training Iraqi security forces on the WTI process. Finally, the devices are sent to government and military forensics labs across the globe for more detailed, national-level analysis. Much of this information is indexed and collected by the FBI-led Terrorist Explosives Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) and shared with international partners. The forensic and technical data is also used by the execution arm of JIEDDO’s counter-IED training support, the Joint Center of Excellence (JCOE). Located at the Army’s National Training Center (NTC) in Fort Irwin, CA, the JCOE together with the NTC’s Operations Group, uses the data to replicate training versions of devices found in theater down to the smallest detail but the active explosive. JIEDDO has more than doubled its

25 — September/October 2009

investment in WTI since 2008, providing over $100 million for the current fiscal year under the Attack the Network line of operation. This investment includes funding for the forward-based CEXC labs and support of the FBI’s TEDAC database. JIEDDO has also worked to make its capabilities, including capability developments and WTI, available to the largest cross-section of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. Any military, government or contractor EOD expert with a Common Access Card (CAC) can log into the Knowledge & Information Fusion Exchange (KnIFE).

Funded by JIEDDO and operated by the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), KnIFE connects data from multiple agencies and organizations such as JIEDDO with IED-related information from units in-theater. This results in best practices that are informed not only from an institutional level, but reinforced by real-world experience. From tips on disrupting insurgent IED networks to identifying unexploded ordnance, KnIFE’s collection of counterIED lessons learned, consolidates the latest information from the Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned (MCCLL), the Center for Army Lessons Learned

(CALL), Iraq’s Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) Troy and Afghanistan’s CJTF Paladin. These tactical insights drawn from JIEDDO personnel returning from theater to an emphasis on understanding current enemy IED technical capabilities, KnIFE enables JIEDDO to push critical information to warfighters as the organization receives it. JIEDDO: KNIFE:
Michael Coderre is a writer with the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO).

27 — September/October 2009