The European Union C-IED Exercise ‘Bison Counter 2023’ concludes in Cartagena.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

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Exercise ‘BISON COUNTER 23’
Exercise ‘BISON COUNTER 23’
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Exercise ‘BISON COUNTER 23’
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Diver near the transport ship ‘Ysabel’
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Visitor’s Day
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Teams operating near the ship ‘Ysabel’
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Teams operating near the ship ‘Ysabel’
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Teams operating near the ship ‘Ysabel’
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Teams operating near the ship ‘Ysabel’

The exercise ‘BISON COUNTER 2023’ is the largest and most comprehensive C-IED (Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices) exercise in the European Union, held biannually, with Spain being the designated host nation in this 2023 edition. The maritime scenario took place in Cartagena, from November 6 to 17, organized by the Mine Countermeasures Diving Unit. This exercise was attended by personnel from eight different European nationalities and companies from the defense sector.

The development and actual execution of the exercise was divided into two main phases. The CET (Combat Enhancement Training) – FIT (Force Integration Training) phase, which served as a warm-up and adaptation stage where the capabilities of the participating teams were assessed, and the LIVEX phase, where 5 simultaneous C-IED scenarios were contemplated in different locations along the coast of Cartagena.

One scenario was conducted in and around the transport ship ‘YSABEL’, where the different teams of all nationalities along with the K9 worked in the vicinity of the dock, the ship's hull and inside the ship. They searched for and neutralized explosives and collected evidence from the scene.

On November 15, a Visitor's Day was organized with a demonstration of the work carried out so far, and with the presence of the Commanding Flag Officer of the Exercise, General Julio Rello Varas (Engineers Corps), where the different scenarios of the exercises could be seen, concluding in the dock of the Algameca Naval Station with a ‘Pouncer’ exercise on two improvised drifting artifacts.

Exercise ‘BISON COUNTER 23’ posed a national and international challenge in the C-IED endeavor, where the participating teams showed their degree of specialization and their ability to solve hostile situations.


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