Bomb disposal, DHS S&T, technological innovation, first responders | Homeland Security Newswire

Bomb disposalHigh- and low-tech solutions for bomb disposal

Published 8 August 2018

To ensure bomb techs are on the cutting edge of technology as they address evolving threats, DHS S&T created the Response and Defeat Operations Support (REDOPS) program. REDOPS connects the 466 bomb squads of varying sizes and budgets across the country with the tools and information they need to perform their duties better, faster and more safely. They look at a variety of sources—including the commercial marketplace, responder communities and international partners—for high- and low-tech solutions.

To ensure bomb techs are on the cutting edge of technology as they address evolving threats, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) created the Response and Defeat Operations Support (REDOPS) program. REDOPS connects the 466 bomb squads of varying sizes and budgets across the country with the tools and information they need to perform their duties better, faster and more safely. They look at a variety of sources—including the commercial marketplace, responder communities and international partners—for high- and low-tech solutions.

The reach and impact of REDOPS
The program’s creation followed the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 with the goal of providing support to state and local bomb technicians.

“That was the genesis of the REDOPS program,” said William Stout, Deputy Director of First Responder Technologies. “Since that time, we have been able to successfully create and establish relationships with the bomb squad community in conjunction with other federal agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy.”

S&T says that it leverages its relationship with the FBI and other agencies to reach the whole of the bomb squad community across the nation. All bomb technicians receive training and certification from the FBI Hazardous Devices School, which is where the REDOPS program transitions its tools and technologies.

“In essence, this program reaches 100 percent of the community we set out to help,” Stout said.

The REDOPS mission is more than delivering tools and technologies; the program also evaluates existing tools to give technicians the peace of mind that their equipment will work as intended in the event of a bomb threat.

“We want to make sure existing tools work safely and effectively by providing objective feedback to better inform the bomb squad community as a whole,” said Byung Hee Kim, S&T program manager for REDOPS.