Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany --
KEFLAVIK, Iceland -- Airmen from the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, are participating in Exercise Northern Challenge 2016, more commonly called NOCH 16, which began here Sept. 12.
NOCH 16 is an Icelandic-hosted, multinational, explosive ordnance disposal, counter-improvised explosive device exercise in support of NATO’s Defense Against Terrorism program.
The exercise focuses on disabling improvised explosive devices in support of counter-terrorism tactics to prepare countries enrolled in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program for international deployments and defense against terrorism.
“Northern Challenge is an EOD focused exercise,” said Lt. Marvin Ingólfsson, Icelandic coast guard member and Exercise Northern Challenge director. “We rebuild devices found around the world from the past few years and use them to try and make the environment as realistic as possible.”
This year’s participating nations include Iceland, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Norway, Belgium, Great Britain, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States.
“With all these partner nations working together to defeat a common network, you really get the advantage of different points of view, which will help each other improve tactics, techniques, and procedures,” said Capt. Kyle Fuller, commander of the 31st Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight, Aviano Air Base, Italy.
Although the training exercise is not associated with, or a reaction to, any real world events, it is designed to subject its multicultural participants to realistic EOD-related challenges that they must face together.
“The benefit of participating in this exercise is the exchange of tactics, techniques and procedures with partner nations,” said Staff Sgt. Cole Carroll, 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal craftsman.
The goal of the exercise is for participating Partnership for Peace program members to become familiar with each other's military procedures, which will improve interoperability and combined counter-terrorism efforts.