The Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL) is a capability managed by the European Defence Agency that builds upon the work of the Multinational Theatre Exploitation Laboratory Demonstrator (MNTEL) in Afghanistan.
The Multinational Theatre Exploitation Laboratory Demonstrator (MNTEL) came from a directive from EDA member states in 2010 to develop a deployable forensic laboratory and use it in Afghanistan. The objective was to demonstrate the value of such a deployable capability in the overall Counter IED workstream.
A €1 million contract was let to the Spanish company Indra in late 2010 and by September 2011 it was operating in Afghanistan, although initially at a lower level of capacity.
Although later called MNTEL it started out as the Theatre Exploitation Laboratory (Demonstrator) or TEL(D), managed by the French in Kabul which examined over 6,000 devices and built up a valuable library of data. Personnel from from France, Spain, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the Netherlands manned the facility until its withdrawal and recovery in summer this year.
The TEL(D) datasheet describes three levels of exploitation;
Recording and sampling of information are key to Level 1. Often associated with incidents such as IED finds or the tragic consequences of when an IED has functioned, first responders, specialised Weapons Intelligence teams or Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams have the difficult task of trying to gather as much information as possible under time pressure due to the fact that the environment can be hostile
Intermediate processing in theatre through forensics investigation is what comprises Level 2. This implies a forward deployed laboratory for the investigation of IED incidents and related activity with the purpose of aiding the C-IED effort at formation and theatre by informing the commander of the IED threat faced
Level 3 involves the full scale crime laboratory that is dedicated to performing more time and resource consuming analysis that is not possible in theatre.
In March 2012 the MoD provided evidence to the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committe which included information on the forensics laboratory.
The EDA deployed a C-IED Theatre Exploitation Laboratory (Demonstrator) (TEL(D)) in Afghanistan this summer, under a French lead. The UK already have a national capability integrated into ISAF and whilst the UK are not active participants in the EDA’s C-IED project, we have provided assistance including information (subject to national caveats) to inform the Agency’s work based on our own national Level 2 capability.
As the UK already have a national capability up to and including Level 3, we therefore do not participate in an EDA activity that does not add benefit to the UK’s capability.
We do, however, encourage other Member States to participate in this project as we believe that more EU nations developing their own C-IED exploitation expertise could potentially reduce the burden on the UK. We will continue to monitor this work with interest and provide encouragement and support and keep our position not to participate under continual review.
This national capability was provided by Marshall’s, click here to read more
JDEAL has now officially opened, based at Soesterberg in the Netherlands, the lead nation for the project.
From the press release, JDEAL facilities include;
- Detailed visual examination and high quality image capture
- Technical exploitation reporting
- Biometric analysis (latent finger print recovery)
- Electrical circuitry (primarily radio parts)
- Document and media recovery (focused on the mobile phones often used as IED triggering devices)
- Chemical analysis
- Mechanical exploitation as well as other material exploitation.
JDEAL will be a deployable capability and provide a venue for training and research and development when not deployed. Although only once complete setup is currently available, a second will be added in 2015 to provide greater capacity.
Evidently, Europe has a great deal of experience, expertise and capability in this area.
And of course, containers!
H/T RP Defense