The newest tool in the battle against improvised explosive devices is not an electronic jammer, a lightning weapon, or high-tech explosive detector — it's the U.S. police. This won't come as a complete surprise to those who have followed the IED issue closely, but it's interesting to see how the battle against IEDs has shifted to a focus on criminal forensics. Noah, for example, wrote about the forensic bomb squad during his trip last year to Iraq. And this work also now involves teaching troops on the ground how to process a crime scene, collect evidence and pursue a full investigation.
As part of this much broader effort, the Pentagon has a new program that will embed police in Iraq to help battle the "criminal networks" planting IEDs:
Specific Background – In 2006, after careful review of post deployment lessons learned, ground survey team interviews, and several studies conducted by various agencies and organizations, a decision was made to obtain individuals with the requisite criminal enterprise analytical and investigative skills and to embed them at corps, division and brigade/regiment level across Iraq and Afghanistan. The Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), as a one-year Proof of Concept, executed this initiative, known as the Law Enforcement Professional Program (LEP). In August 2007, following validation of the LEP Proof of Concept, the initiative was approved for continuation and expansion down to battalion level.
They are looking for a company that will provide the law enforcement personnel, according to the contract solicitation:
The Contractor shall provide experienced former law enforcement personnel with criminal enterprise analytical and investigative skills for embedding into corps, division, brigade/ regiment, and battalion headquarters, to assist commanders with enhanced expertise and methodology to understand, identify, target, penetrate, interdict, and suppress criminal networks and their employment of IEDs. Additionally, the Contractor will provide experienced former law enforcement personnel with similar skill sets in order to provide reach back into the Federal and State law enforcement communities, appropriate U.S. DOD agencies, and the intelligence community.
The contract, by the way, is worth up to half a billion dollars.
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