FBI Dallas
Public Affairs Specialist Allison Mahan
(972) 559-5000
December 23, 2015

Local and State Bomb Technicians Earn New Certification in FBI Tactical Training

Thirteen public safety bomb technicians from across the country earned an advanced certification after participating in the FBI’s Tactical Bomb Technician Course (TBTC) that concluded last week in Dallas.

The TBTC is a challenging two-week course that provides a basic level of tactical training for bomb technicians to support SWAT team members in a situation where improvised explosive devices (IEDs) may also be a threat. Bomb technicians from the Garland Police Department; San Antonio Police Department; Austin Police Department; Harris County Sheriff’s Office; Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Nashville Police Department; Mesa, Arizona Police Department; Tempe, Arizona Police Department; Gwinnet County, Georgia Police Department; Gaston County, North Carolina Police Department; South Carolina State Police; and the United States Capitol Police completed the course, which concluded with a joint training exercise involving SWAT teams from the Dallas FBI and police departments in Arlington, Dallas, DFW Airport, Irving, Garland, and Fort Worth. A regional SWAT team composed of team members from Bedford, Euless, Grapevine, and Hurst Police Departments participated in the final joint training exercise as well.

“Our bomb technicians and SWAT team members have some of the most dangerous jobs in the Bureau,” said Thomas M. Class, Sr., special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas Division. “The more training we can conduct with our local and state partners, the better prepared and safer we’ll be in times of crisis.”

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. This national–level tactical bomb technician training and certification program was designed to standardize a myriad of different tactics and communications that public safety bomb technicians use across the country to address IEDs in support of SWAT.

“Training is essential and a core component in preparing law enforcement for an emergency response,” said Chief David O. Brown of the Dallas Police Department. “The FBI Tactical Bomb Technician Course is a great opportunity for law enforcement to train together to receive the latest and most advanced tactical training to prepare for the unique threats faced by SWAT officers and bomb technicians during acts of terrorism.”

Chief Mitch Bates of the Garland Police Department said, “This training opportunity provided by the FBI further strengthens our ability to respond to the most serious threats in a collaborative, team approach.”

Texas currently has 27 accredited bomb squads, including 10 in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Each member went through training at the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, the nation’s only facility to train and certify public safety bomb technicians to render safe hazardous devices.