Intensive ‘hands-on’ Training for the On-Site Inspection Third Training Cycle Participants

CTBTO held an On-Site Inspection In-field operations support course as part of the Third Training Cycle (IFOS-3TC) at the Austrian Armed Forces International Training Centre Götzendorf and the CTBTO Temporary Storage Area (Seibersdorf) in May. Seventy-two candidates representing 47 nominating Member States from around the globe participated in IFOS, extending the OSI capability both in terms of overall numbers of inspectors and in terms of geographical representation. 

The countries represented were: Angola, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, the Comoros, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Madagascar, Mongolia, Myanmar, Namibia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Participants were supported by OSI experts from Austria, France, Israel, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the U.S., as well as by CTBTO staff.

OSI experts and CTBTO staff provided hands-on training

This is the third of a series of courses in the introductory block, building on the first two OSI training courses (the Introductory Course in Slovakia and the Health, Safety and Security course in Jordan). It is the second cross-cutting course designed to train 3TC participants on skills that every surrogate inspector should be acquainted with. The objective of the In-field operations support course was to provide participants with a solid foundation on OSI self-sufficiency logistics concepts and procedures throughout all phases of an OSI, with an emphasis on the pre-inspection and post-inspection phases.

IFOS-3TC was mostly ‘hands-on’ training involving out-door activities; a practical training through coaching and close escort of training activities by highly qualified OSI experts and experienced 1st and 2nd Training Cycle surrogate inspectors. Participants worked on preparatory e-learning modules prior to arrival in Austria and took part in a number of sessions in the form of Table Top exercises on Point of Entry (POE) negotiations and Pre- and Post-inspection Logistics activities.  During the ‘hands-on’ phase the participants were divided into two inspection teams with activities taking place in parallel at both sites in Götzendorf and Seibersdorf.

OSI experts and CTBTO staff provided hands-on training

CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo paid a visit to the training sites and appreciated the hard work and dedication of trainers and participants. The course was organized in close collaboration with the Government of Austria, in particular the Ministry of National Defence and Sport of Austria  and is indicative of the country’s support of the Organization. 

Under the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), an On-Site Inspection is the final measure to verify compliance with the Treaty and can be launched to establish whether or not a suspicious event was in fact a nuclear explosion. During an OSI, up to 40 experts are deployed to search on the ground for signs of a fresh nuclear explosion, using up to 17 different OSI techniques. Such an Inspection can be requested by any Member State and will be possible once the CTBT enters into force. In anticipation of entry-into-force, the CTBTO maintains a roster of trained on-site inspectors and regularly tests procedures and techniques in field experiments and simulation exercises.

CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo with Oberst Karl Wolf, OSI Director Oleg Rozhkov and OSI Division staff