(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Recognising the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Oman held the Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNe) Commodity Identification Training and Interdiction Tabletop Exercise at ROP's Customs Academy in Muscat.
The week-long exercise part of the collaboration between US and Oman brought together interagency officials to strengthen their capacity to detect and interdict smuggled CBRNe-related materials components and equipment that could be used in a terrorist act.
The course briefed participants on methods that terrorists might use to acquire or develop such weapons. They were also told how the material would look their marking labelling and packaging so that they can be easily identified.
These identification and interdiction capabilities are critical for combating smuggling of CBRNe commodities.
'We are pleased to work with the Sultanate of Oman on such important non-proliferation initiatives. These types of initiatives contribute to global security and are vital for stemming proliferation and illicit trafficking' said Anne Harrington deputy administrator for Defence Nuclear Nonproliferation NNSA in a statement.
Building on the commodity identification training the drill 'Khamsin Discovery' used a fictional terrorism-related WMD'smuggling scenario that required a broad range of actions to successfully detect identify and interdict CBRNe items that could be used by terrorists.
Participating ROP officials worked together to assess and respond to the attempt by 'terrorists' to smuggle CBRNe-related items for an attack.
The participants then applied their significant expertise to successfully foil the fictional plot.
'This exercise was a great example of cooperation to reduce nuclear terrorism risks. Readiness and international cooperation are key and we made great progress on both fronts' said Steven Aoki deputy undersecretary of Energy for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation NNSA.
The goal of the tabletop exercise was to identify the suspicious 'red flags' associated with potential WMD terrorism-related incidents provide first-hand CBRNe interdiction experience and strengthen cooperation between the various agencies charged with preventing and interdicting illegal shipments.