The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) hosted a training activity on intelligence-led operations to prevent and combat radiological and nuclear (RN) trafficking in Manila, capital of the Republic of the Philippines from 17 to 21 October 2022.
Altogether 15 experts from different security agencies in the country were trained. These included the National Intelligence Co-ordinating Agency, the Philippine Army, the Bureau of Customs, the Anti-Terrorism Council – Program Management Center, the Philippine Police, the Armed Forces, the Philippine Navy, the Philippine Ports Authority, the Coastguard, the Airforce, and the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute.
The training comprised of both theoretical frontal lectures and practical exercises to give trainees a comprehensive view of the subject-matter and was tailored to the specific priority issues identified during the assessment phase. The substantial lectures were complemented by methodological segments aimed at enhancing participants’ skills as trainers who are expected to share the knowledge acquired through the training with their peers.
The sessions aimed to enhance participants’ knowledge of RN materials subject to potential smuggling operations, planning and conducting intelligence and law enforcement operations, as well as radiological crime scene investigation.
In the next weeks, UNICRI will support participants, through remote coaching and mentorship, to develop and design national training that is slated for the second quarter of 2023. Some of the trainees will also participate in the first regional peer-to-peer workshop on regional cooperation mechanisms, which will take place on 21 and 22 November 2022 in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.
The training was organized and delivered within the framework of the “CONTACT – Southeast Asia – Enhancing capacities to prevent the trafficking of RN material in Southeast Asia”, funded by Global Affairs Canada. Captain Irvin Hibaler, CBRN Operations and Coordinating Officer at the Anti-Terrorism Council – Program Management Center (ATC-PMC), facilitated the organization of the event.
All participants greatly appreciated the structure and topics of the training, particularly the focus on intelligence-led operations. Second Lieutenant Juna Cabradilla – CBRN Coy Platoon Leader – from the Armed Forces said: “The training is very remarkable in capacitating the trainees and the trainers were all experts and imparted significant skills and knowledge. The course is well-rounded, conducive, interactive, and flexible. It has aided in improving the inter-agency interoperability between key stakeholders of the country in dealing with illicit trafficking of RN materials. "
Second Lieutenant Shienel Casite Salvador added: “Overall, the training has great inputs and personally, I have many takeaways. The modules on identification of RN materials encountered in trafficking and on carrying out intelligence-led operations will be of great benefit to us. We are continuously developing our interoperability in joint operations and this training also improves our communication through the incorporation of practical exercises. We are looking forward to working hand-in-hand with UNICRI in the future.”
CONTACT – Southeast Asia aims to enhance capacities of nuclear security stakeholders in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Philippines, and Viet Nam to devise and carry out operations in order to thwart radiological and nuclear (RN) trafficking attempts, as well as to foster regional cooperation and communication among the four partner countries. The project is funded by Global Affairs Canada’s Weapons Threat Reduction Program.