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Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia, Civil Protection Directorate has co-organized with RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation the “NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN CIVIL PROTECTION – ROBOTIC SYSTEM AGAINST MODERN CBRN THREATS” Workshop in Zagreb, Hotel Aristos on 23-25 November 2022.

The Workshop has been organized as one of the activities of the project Remotely Operated Systems for CBRN Decontamination under Hot Zone (ROSDEC) (acronym: rescEU-DECON-Croatia), and financed by the European Commission under the rescEU decontamination Grant agreement for the establishment of CBRN decontamination capabilities.

The objective of the Project is to develop, maintain and ensure the availability of rescEU CBRN decontamination capacities using UGV systems (ROSDEC) in all three reference scenarios (unintentional and intentional disasters, and mass gatherings) with the outcome to make available CBR and TIC decontamination capacities to decontaminate infrastructure, buildings, vehicles, equipment, and critical evidence from chemical, biological and radiological agents including common Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs) and toxins.

The Workshop also aims to bring together doctrinal and strategic guidelines, bilateral and multilateral cross-border cooperation programs and EU and NATO funds that facilitate mechanisms for research, development and equipping of national civil protection, strengthening the Union Civil Protection Mechanism in defence of CBRN threats.

The two-day Workshop with an included Exercise is intended for crisis management managers, operational commanders at the tactical level in crisis management and the civil sector to plan, execute and support protection and rescue operations in the face of threats or risks of nuclear, radiological and chemical hazards using new technologies such as unmanned, remote-controlled vehicles to operate in extreme CBRN conditions. The principles, tactics and standard operating procedures described during the Workshop will enable crisis management and the civil sector, i.e. commanders of civil protection and fire brigades, to identify places and opportunities for efficient and useful use of the UGV/UAV for CBRN defence, and the Exercise will provide the end users at the level of servers, team commanders and core tactical units with the basis for the development of use in accordance with the purpose and tasks of the unit, training, knowledge and skills testing, and the organization of logistical support and basic maintenance.

The Workshop will be conducted according to the doctrines, strategies and directives of the United Nations and the European Union in the field of civil protection and firefighting, and due to the specific area of CBRN threats and defence, which is still less represented in civilian than in the military part and according to military doctrines, strategies and NATO standards, but at the tactical level has been reduced to a description of the purpose and tasks of the RCV-CBRN and its crew and as such is applicable for planning the use and for use in firefighting and civil protection systems in CBRN threat conditions.

Mr. Damir Trut, PhD, Director of the Civil Protection Directorate opened the Workshop by saying:

“The recent events in our country and the world such as earthquakes, floods and fires caused by climate change, the fight against the spread of the coronavirus, the war in Ukraine, but also technical and technological threats with the emission of chemical, radiological and biological (CBRN) hazardous substances have become a part of everyday life in the 21st century, and, unfortunately, are here to stay. Today’s threats are increasingly directed towards civilians among whom are children as the most vulnerable group. As a country, as a society and as a civil protection system we need to adapt to new circumstances, reduce vulnerability and strengthen national resilience.”

On behalf of RACVIAC MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, RACVIAC Director, welcomed and expressed his gratitude to the Director of the Civil Protection Directorate by saying: “It is an honour to be your partner in this Workshop. I would also like to express my thanks to DOK-ING Company for organizing the main attraction of the Workshop, the field demonstration.”

Director Bazo emphasized that RACVIAC connection to CBRN related topics was not new: “We have been organizing Chemical Weapons Convention Workshops from the very beginning and Biological Convention Workshops during the last two years. Since most of our Members are also members of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism, we happily joined this common enterprise and this time around we offer something different compared to the previous years.”

He also referred to the objective of the Workshop and stressed: “The main objective of this event is to provide a platform for civil protection and other experts to share information on the workshop topic, especially to enhance joint operational capabilities of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism.

We believe that this event will facilitate the further development of your professional network and by means of that, your ability to share expertise, opinions and lessons learned. I wish you all a very interesting and rewarding Workshop.”

The Workshop is being attended by more than 50 participants from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Türkiye.