IFE14 Project Update
With just over six months to go until the exercise starts, the IFE14 project management team and the entire Provisional Technical Secretariat are focusing and redoubling their efforts to ensure that a highly successful – and challenging - integrated field exercise takes place in November-December 2014.
Below we provide you with a snapshot of key recent developments (as of April 2014):
The external scenario design task force has completed its work, with the scenario subjected to a comprehensive scientific peer review in autumn 2013. Contractors in Jordan have been identified to initiate site modification work well in advance of the start of the exercise.
High Level Meetings
Regular face-to-face contact between the CTBTO’s senior management including the project executive with their esteemed counterparts in the host country has been critical in ensuring continued support from the host country as well as a smooth path towards the start of the exercise. In March 2014, the latest High Level Meeting was held in Amman with issues such as participant names and numbers, logistical arrangements, preparations for observer visits, legal issues and the conclusion of outstanding implementing arrangements discussed.
The CTBTO has now made a tentative selection of IFE14 participants on the basis of a number of criteria including expertise, training, participation in the IFE14 build-up exercises and other OSI events, taking into account geographical distribution and gender. Those selected can expect to receive an invitation shortly, with a deadline of 30 April set for confirming their availability.
All contribution-in-kind (CiK) equipment agreements have been signed with the offering Member States. Additionally, the custom clearance process for receiving CiK equipment is underway and some of the equipment has already been shipped to Vienna for final testing and training purposes. Several field tests pertaining to the use of multi-spectral imaging including infrared imaging, gamma spectrum equipment, deep ranging CPT equipment as well as OSI communications equipment, have been successfully conducted in Jordan and Hungary. Moreover, an IT geographical information system and field information management system test was carried out at the equipment storage and maintenance facility. Valuable lessons have been identified and will be taken into account for IFE14.
Logistic planning activities are primarily focused on planning the transport of equipment from Vienna to Jordan as well as a review of the current base of operations module and layout. All preparations for equipment shipment are on schedule with the tendering process to identify a contractor underway. On-site logistical support arrangements have been largely finalized with our host country counterparts. Personal transportation arrangements will start shortly, upon receipt of confirmation from invited participants.
Health and Safety
The CTBTO attaches utmost importance to the safe and secure conduct of the IFE14 exercise. For that purpose a comprehensive health and safety plan for IFE14 is being developed and provisions for the medical examination of IFE14 participants are under preparation.
Deep CPT training activity for the use of deep ranging electromagnetics equipment and active seismic equipment was successfully conducted in March 2014 in Hungary. Additionally, a number of training activities are scheduled before IFE14, in particular radionuclide-noble gas in-depth training in May, the IFE14 general preparation training in June and training for operation support centre participants in September.
The CTBTO carried out OSI Workshop-21 in China in November 2013, which identified lessons learned in relation to build up exercise III and IFE14 preparations. Various standard operating procedures and work instructions have been developed and/or updated, and are currently being reviewed in advance of IFE14. Additionally, a field version of the draft OSI Operational Manual has been issued for use by participants during IFE14.