As part of the NATO exercise Northern Challenge 21 , a detachment of the Atlantic Clearance Diver Group (GDP A), reinforced with elements of the Mediterranean and Channel North Sea GPDs, was deployed to Keflavik in Iceland from 11 October to 1 November. A major counter-improvised explosive device (IED) exercise organized by Iceland, Northern Challenge 21 trained deminers detachments from 13 nations. The 250 participants from the Explosive Ordonance Disposal (EOD) teams were assessed in land, sea and port environments under difficult environmental conditions.
The week before the start of the exercise, three of the French clearance divers had joined the exercise evaluation team. After a phase of operational preparation and equipment testing, the other militaries of the detachment began the exercise on October 18. The clearance divers were divided into two teams: the first responded to incidents of land improvised explosive devices (IEDs), while the second reacted to threats in the port and maritime environment.
This first week of exercise allowed the teams to perfect the fluidity of their actions, to confront their equipment to the harsh climatic conditions and to discuss with international assessors. During the second week, the participants took part in the complete elevation scenario, consisting of a realistic sequence of interventions in real operating conditions.
During each intervention, the clearance divers also practiced implementing the most appropriate neutralization means for the recovery of usable evidence, with a view to transferring these elements to the experts of the WIT (analysis and processing unit). scientist). The information collected makes it possible to identify the perpetrators of IED attacks and to strengthen knowledge of the operation of these devices.
The variety of scenarios and environments encountered (military base, civilian port or even urban outskirts) made it possible to get as close as possible to the real conditions of intervention. In total, the French detachment intervened in 18 land scenarios and 16 maritime scenarios, day and night, neutralizing around fifty IEDs.