Local Bomb Squads Earn New Certification in FBI Tactical Bomb Technician Training
Members of two local bomb squads earned an advanced certification after participating in the FBI’s Tactical Bomb Technician Course (TBTC). The TBTC is a challenging two-week course that provides a basic level of training for bomb techs to integrate into a SWAT element and support the SWAT team members in a situation where improvised explosive devices (IEDs) may also be a threat. Bomb techs from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and Gaston County Police Department completed the course that concluded with a joint training exercise involving SWAT teams from each department and the FBI.
“Bringing multiple tactical units together for this type of high-level training provides us with an experience that is both cost effective and a great learning opportunity,” said Captain C.J. Rosselle of the Gaston County Police Department. “This unique training opportunity, developed by the FBI, has greatly enhanced CMPD’s capabilities to protect our community. This training has also reinforced the regional approach of support and response between CMPD, Gaston County Police, and the FBI,” said Captain S. Brochu with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and Gaston County Police Department are currently the only local law enforcement agencies in North Carolina with tactically trained bomb techs. “This type of collaborative effort is a major step forward in the fight against an ever emerging threat from those offenders who choose to use IEDs as a primary tool against the public and law enforcement,” said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Division of the FBI.
The development of the TBTC is the result of the continued partnership between the FBI’s Counter-Improvised Explosives Section, the National Bomb Squad Commanders Advisory Board, and the National Tactical Officers Association. Tactical situations, in which both active shooters and explosive devices are present, introduce interdisciplinary challenges as public safety bomb squads and SWAT teams join forces to deal with complex scenarios. The two-week national-level tactical bomb tech training and certification program was designed to standardize a myriad of different marking, communication, and tactics that public safety bomb technicians use across the country to address IEDs in support of SWAT.
North Carolina currently has 15 accredited bomb squads, including five in the Charlotte area. Each member went through training at the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School, the nation’s only facility to train and certify public safety bomb technicians to render safe hazardous devices.