Bomb experts from 15 countries have come together at Keflavík Airport for the 20th annual training session known as Northern Challenge. 300 individuals will participate in the exercises which will begin today and last until next week, Vísir reports.
Participants will comprise 30 teams and have the opportunity to work on coordination of operations as well as share knowledge and experience with members of the other teams. The popular event is known as one of the most important exercises for bomb experts in Europe.
The Coast Guard (Landhelgisgæslan) has announced that the training will mainly take place at their area of operation at the airport. Normal workings of the airport will not be interrupted.
The announcement further stated, “The aim of the exercise is to practice responding to terrorism where homemade bombs have been planted. The task of the bomb experts is to solve such a problem. The same equipment that has been found around the world is equipped and conditions are kept as real as possible.”
Making sure the exercises are useful to all participants in a wide-variety of scenarios is paramount. “The exercise takes place in a variety of situations, for example at an airport, in a port, on a ship and at a pier,” the announcement goes on. “A specialised control centre is also activated, where all installation and work methods are in accordance with the international working methods of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.”
The unique conditions present in the North Atlantic make Iceland an optimal place for training sessions of this sort. Just months ago, 200 members of the US Air Force trained with three Northrop B-2 Spirit aircraft trained at Keflavík to acquaint participants with conditions in the North Atlantic to further train other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
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