orange NBSCAB History

NBSCAB was established in 1998 as a standing committee representing bomb squad commanders in the U.S. on various issues affecting the bomb squad profession.  Since its beginning, NBSCAB has worked with various federal agencies that interact with bomb squad issues, including the FBI, ATF, NIJ, TSWG, DHS, TSA, and others.   The following are examples of significant work that NBSCAB has done:

  • Worked with the Hazardous Devices School (HDS) to establish national programs for bomb squad accreditation and bomb technician certification.
  • Worked with HDS on a review of standards for HDS students and courses and the establishment of a hazmat training prerequisite for basic students.
  • Provided input to the FBI toward its selection of WMD equipment for bomb squads.
  • Worked with the Interagency Board to add bomb technician equipment to the Standardized Equipment List and Authorized Equipment List.
  • Worked with the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to encourage the establishment of guidelines for the use of Explosive Detection Canines.
  • Provided direction regarding the creation of the Critical Incident Response Technology Seminar (CIRTS) program, a multiagency-funded effort through the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG).
  • Provided direction to an effort to develop a national Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (RCIED) program, funded by NIJ, executed through TSWG, and to be carried on perpetually by the FBI.
  • Worked with federal agencies regarding the development of computer related items in support to bomb squads, including:
    • The FBI COBRA wireless laptop system
    • The NIJ/TSWG sponsored BISCNet system, which is an overarching software system for bomb squad use
    • The NIJ sponsored bomb squad database, a comprehensive technical manual for bomb squad use
    • The NIJ supported NBSCAB website, which is accessible to all certified bomb technicians and serves as a tool for NBSCAB to reach all bomb squads with on-line information on NBSCAB supported programs
  • Created the Considerations for Weapons of Mass Destruction (Nuclear/Biological/Chemical) Standard Operating Procedures as a recommended guide for bomb squad use, in coordination with the FBI’s Bomb Technician Weapons of Mass Destruction Emergency Actions Course at HDS during 1998-2000.
  • Added robots to the list of required equipment for bomb squads, effective April 2009, at which point a bomb squad must have a robot in order to remain accredited.
  • Participated in focus group initiatives led by TSWG on a variety of emerging threat issues, including Suicide Bombings, Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices, and Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices, resulting in the development of:
    • VBIED Categories and Strategies
    • Suicide Bomber Categories and Strategies
    • RCIED Operational Plans and Technical Specifications Documents aimed at building a nationally coordinated ECM program
  • Responded to DHS mandates to develop resource typing definitions for all first responders by defining three levels of bomb squad response capabilities.