Exercise Brave Beduin

Exercise Brave Beduin is the world’s most important NATO-led exercise in warning and reporting of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. Brave Beduin is conducted on an annual basis in Skive, Denmark.

The exercise provides an important training opportunity to:

  • increase knowledge and standards in warning and reporting procedures;
  • increase the level of interoperability among NATO members to conduct the procedures; and,
  • improve readiness for CBRN defence.

Canada’s additional objectives

  • Train Collection Centre (CC) personnel in a joint environment to increase their level of interoperability.
  • Enhance the skills required to advise commanders in tactical and operational aspects of CBRN incidents.
  • Test the CAF’s future CBRN Information Management (IM) Capability, which is being delivered by the Sensor Integration and Decision Support (SI&DS) Project, in a real-world environment
  • Measure the progress accomplished since last year.


Brave Beduin started as a small national event 30 years ago in Skive, Denmark. The country has a long tradition in CBRN warning and reporting and high standards for evaluating it. The city of Skive provides a perfect operational environment for the participants. The exercise gained popularity quickly and became the highlight on the CBRN training calendar, attracting hundreds of hopeful “Brave Beduins”.

Exercise design

The training incidents’ scenarios and the logistics requirements are developed by two experts who work all year long to generate hundreds of training incidents with the corresponding logistics requirements. One week before the start of the next exercise, those two experts are joined by a team Danish and international personnel, in order to do the final preparation and delivery of the training.

During the exercise, the participants are presented with a continuous flow of complex scenarios, ranging from nuclear explosions to terrorist attacks. All of the incidents must be managed efficiently in accordance with allied procedures that are designed to save lives, and minimize and remediate the impact of the incident as quickly as possible.

Brave Beduin 2016

Canada participated in Brave Beduin for the fourth consecutive year. In 2016, our 24 member delegation was led by the SI&DS project team from the Directorate of CBRN Defence.

The currently fielded SI&DS system, which will become the future CAF CBRN IM capability when the project reaches its final operating capability in January 2018, is world-leading equipment with unprecedented situational awareness proficiency. It collects data from various sensors placed in the field, or on manned and unmanned vehicles. The data is then analyzed, amalgamated, compiled and interpreted as visual projections: the command officer can see a representation of the hazard plot, or predicted plume, over a given region. The system can also model the predicted path of airborne CBRN agents taking into consideration the nature of the threat, its source, intensity, the air temperature, wind direction and speed. It can communicate the information to the command-and-control systems of the Canadian Army (CA), Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Canadian Special Operations Forces (SOF). The Canadian delegation was the only one to actively support a SOF capability during the exercise.

The Canadian team was given two days to familiarize itself to the iterative improvements to the SI&DS system from the previous year’s exercise prior to the start of BB 2016. Each CC operator was given an area of responsibility in line with their specific training mandate and environment; the RCAF operators had to protect a German airport, the SOF had a small but complex task environment, and the Navy operators conducted naval and littoral operations.

The SI&DS system gave a unique advantage to the Canadian CC operators; they showed an exceptional ability to efficiently deliver NATO-mandated warning and reporting messages and protocol to affected units and areas while using newly, acquired and trained plume-modeling tools to advise commanders in planning events and post-hazard analyses. The CC operators measured the contaminated region, gave advice on defensive measures (such as individual protective equipment, evacuation and decontamination), established a graphic of the levels of contamination, and assessed the number of victims and, when possible, used their training and available reach-back contacts to provide advice on medical countermeasures.

Each year the Canadian CC operators continue to demonstrate increased proficiency in national and NATO CBRN Standard Operating Procedures for Warning and Reporting practices in a combined, joint environment. Upon the introduction of the CBRN IM Capability in January 2018, Exercise Brave Beduin could service as a unique staging ground for the CAF to train and maintain this competence.

Canada’s achievements

  • The SI&DS system was tested in a real-world environment. Users’ comments and suggestions were instrumental for the final phase of the SI&DS development.
  • Canadian warning and reporting capability was visually impressive.
  • Exceptional results were obtained in terms of response time and situational awareness, which lead to better informed command decisions. This prompted many nations to adopt the Canadian briefing template.
  • The Canadian delegation was the only one to provide bio detection capability.
  • It was the first one to encourage and support the participation of the SOF community.

Past deployments

Brave Beduin 2015

In 2015, the Canadian delegation consisted of 23 members and was also led by the SI&DS project team. Each CC operator was assigned an area of responsibility in-line with their specific mandate; the operators from the CA and RCAF were tasked to protect an air base, the Navy conducted littoral and naval operations, and the SOF had an operationally complex area of responsibility.

Canada’s contribution to the exercise consisted of:

  • Improved capacity to train in a joint environment;
  • Improved quality of commander’s briefings with content and templates adjusted according to feedback; and,
  • Daily demonstrations of the SI&DS system to CC operators and commanders.

External links

Canada develops system to defend against warfare agents

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