An IED or improvised explosive device is defined as a device placed or fabricated in an improvised manner incorporating destructive, lethal, noxious, pyrotechnic, or incendiary chemicals and designed to destroy, incapacitate, harass, or distract. It may incorporate military stores, but is normally devised from non-military components.
C-IED is defined as the collection of efforts and operations that include offensive and defensive measures taken to predict or prevent insurgency cells proliferating IEDs; detect or neutralize IEDs once they are emplaced; mitigate the effects of an IED event or train our forces to execute C-IED measures. It also includes intelligence operations to attack the IED network as well as respond to the IED threat and its effects.
The Department of National Defence established the C-IED TF in June 2007 to act as the focal point for C-IED issues within the Canadian Forces. The C-IED TF directs and/or coordinates all Canadian Forces C-IED efforts ranging from capability development to doctrine and training.
The C-IED TF is part of the whole-of-government approach to C-IED. Lead by the Government of Canada, this comprehensive approach brings to bear the full weight of the Nation’s political, diplomatic, economic, development and security capabilities.
The Counter Improvised Explosive Device Task Force (C-IED TF) acts as the strategic focal point for C-IED issues within the Canadian Forces (CF). This Canadian Forces capability, under Army leadership, will coordinate strategic effects designed to attack the IED network, develop CF capability to defeat IEDs, and provide advice on preparing the force to operate in an IED environment, in order to protect the force and to ensure mission success.
Defeating the device includes all efforts, equipment and measures that mitigate the effects of IEDs by locating, neutralizing or destroying the device and dealing with the consequences of its functioning. Examples of defeating the device activities are: the development of tactics, detection and neutralization technologies, vehicle armouring and render safe procedures.
Attacking the network includes all efforts intended to interdict, disrupt or destroy the enemy’s supply chain and Command and Control infrastructure. Attacking the network limits or disables the enemy’s ability to employ IEDs by influencing all or portions of a the IED network. The IED is the enemy's most effective weapon, but to employ it he must transport, finance, assemble and emplace it. This chain of people and events that result in the placement of a device represent the IED network. Examples of attack the network activities include: exploiting evidence recovered from IEDs, network and geographic profiling, counter-bomber targeting, persistent surveillance and information operations.
Preparing the force encompasses all efforts, equipments and measures that prepare the friendly force to conduct operations in an IED threat environment. Examples of preparing the force include training, identification and dissemination of lessons learned and the development and updating of doctrine.
The C-IED TF Operates on three lines of operation: attack the network; defeat the device; and prepare the force. Attacking the Network provides the greatest dividends in the C-IED fight. The IED is the enemy's most effective weapon, but to employ it he must transport, finance, assemble and emplace it. Our goal is to enable units to better attack these nodes thereby limiting the enemy’s ability to employ the weapon. These efforts are paying off and Canadian Forces are experiencing success in identifying and targeting IED networks.
The C-IED TF works closely with Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and the Directorate of Land Requirements to ensure that the development and procurement of new equipment is appropriately prioritized. There are two main methods of acquiring new C-IED equipment. If the equipment is currently available on the market, the in place procurement processes are employed. If the CF has a requirement for a capability that does not currently exist, it is developed in partnership with Defence Research and Development Canada and our allies.
IED training has been instituted across the Canadian Forces from basic to advanced courses. All Canadian Forces soldiers receive training on how to operate in an environment where there is a high threat of IEDs. Examples of specific training include IED identification, and drills to be conducted in a variety of circumstances. Beyond the all arms community, there are specialists that receive advanced technical training such as how to render a device safe, how to operate specialized equipment or how to identify and influence IED networks.
Once an individual is identified for deployment on an operation, they commence a more focused training regime that is developed based upon intelligence and experience in the specific theatre. Once they master their basic skill sets, they join their sections, platoons and companies in order to further train and employ their individual skills in a team setting. The training stages increase and soldiers continue to train in larger groupings until the deploying formation is capable of operating as a cohesive organization.
By the time a formation is ready to deploy, they have learned how to employ defensive tactics and equipment to mitigate the effects of IEDs. More importantly they have learned that each different unit has a role to play in identifying and attacking the IED network thus limiting the ability of an adversary to employ the weapon.