Category Archives: Latest Courses

Tripwire FIRST Division, Part 1. Outdoor Crime Scene Reconstruction: Thinking Outside the Box of Bones

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‘Bones tell the whole story.’ This is the approach forensic teams have taken with law enforcement for decades and still the most common method of an initial homicide investigation: Law enforcement officers photograph remains at an outdoor crime scene and immediately remove and transport the bones to a lab, with the general assumption that the scenes are highly disturbed and hold little information. There the bones sit waiting for a forensic scientist to analyze them and determine the identity of the deceased. The bones are the primary, and many times only, physical evidence analyzed.

Enter Dennis Dirkmaat, Ph.D., D-ABFA, and FBI Special Agent Michael Hochrein (ret), forensic anthropology and archaeology consultants for Tripwire Operations Group. They take a different approach. Dirkmaat and Hochrein believe that uncovering the full story surrounding an outdoor homicide begins and must include, the reconstruction of the outdoor crime scene. They’re working with Tripwire to develop the new Tripwire FIRST Division and they’re on a mission to help law enforcement officers, medical examiners, and other first responders put homicides into context.

‘Who is the deceased’? This is the main question law enforcement is looking to forensic anthropologists and medical experts to answer when investigating a homicide.

Dirkmaat pieces together how the remains were exposed to the elements, possible tampering by animals, and gravity’s effect on the bones. He’s looking to not just identify the victim, but understand what took place, how the crime occurred, how long ago the crime occurred, and what role humans may have played.

“We want to educate and inform law enforcement officers and medical examiners as to the importance of outdoor crime scene reconstruction. There are simply too many ‘agents,’ such as animals, weather, water, snow, and human, at an outdoor crime scene that can alter evidence after a death event takes place. And each manipulation of that evidence, be it from animals or weather or other factors, can have a profound effect on the types of conclusions we can draw that can impact our understanding of how that individual died,” explained Dirkmaat.

A group of forensic scientists from Kazakhstan is currently enrolled in the Tripwire Operations Group Forensic Anthropology course, learning best practices to take home to what is a young department. After years of civil war with mass graves still being uncovered, these medical experts are discovering a new approach to analyzing an outdoor crime scene.

“The Kazakhstan government contacted FIRST looking to enroll their team of medical experts in a forensic anthropology course. This team of nine students will be in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with Tripwire for three weeks as they are immersed in outdoor crime scene reconstruction education, so that they can return home and apply these methods to their practice,” continued Dirkmaat.

We’ll take you through the three-week class in a series of posts to come. The next Tripwire FIRST Division forensics course is being scheduled now for Fall 2018. Contact us for more information and to register.

The Tripwire FIRST Division is co-directed by internationally recognized experts and forensic anthropology and archaeology consultants Dennis Dirkmaat, Ph.D., D-ABFA and FBI Special Agent Michael Hochrein (ret). They provide a wide variety of services to the law enforcement, medicolegal, and jurisprudence communities focused on forensic scene recoveries (outdoor and indoor), mass disaster incidents, forensic DNA interpretation, forensic anthropology cases, and general criminalistics.

Tactical Team Building Executive Retreat

Tactical Team Building Executive Retreat

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Tactical Executive Team Building Retreat

Tactical Team Building Executive Retreat

Tactical Team Building Executive Retreat

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Whether you are:

A former team member who has progressed through the ranks and now find yourself sitting behind a desk reminiscing the good old days.


A professional, corporate executive who is looking for a dynamic opportunity to boost morale, promote teamwork, or just release some stress.

This 3 day retreat is guaranteed to get your blood flowing!


Basic explosive and firearm safety, Use Real Explosive to blow up stuff on our demolition range, Shoot custom, tactical weapons, Blackout, Night Vision shooting, Run an obstacle course wearing a real bomb suit, Wear a protective bite suit and attempt to outrun a Police K9, Defend against a knife wielding attacker…much more…

Price is $2000 per participant, discounts for groups of 10 or more.

Check out our training schedule by clicking here.

Improvised Explosives

Improvised Explosive Formulation Courses

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HME First Responder

To Register for a class or for more information please fill out the form below:

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Improvised Explosive Formulations BASIC Awareness & Operational Level Courses

Improvised explosives: BASIC awareness (1-day) The most common weapon being utilized by criminals and terrorists throughout the world is improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that contain improvised (homemade) explosives. As a first responder, you are increasingly more likely to encounter this type of hazard while responding to an emergency than most. This counter-improvised explosive device training course will provide you with the basic information required to keep yourself and your teammates safe. During this 1-day course, students will learn to identify basic improvised explosives, identify chemical precursors and equipment used in the illicit manufacture of improvised explosives, the hazards associated with each precursor, how-to or how-not-to handle items, and safety precautions to be taken. Our staff consists of current and former Bomb/EOD Technicians who have the operational experience necessary to provide this training. There is no alternative for this counter-improvised explosive device training. As a first responder you are in the business of saving lives, and this course will further your ability to do so. IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVES: OPERATIONAL KNOWLEDGE (2-DAY) This course is designed for the operational first responder…the first there. In addition to the information provided in the basic awareness course, listed above, students will be safely exposed to real improvised explosive formulations, including several peroxide based mixtures such was TATP, which was used in the recent Paris attacks. Students will witness, first-hand, the sensitivity and destructive power of improvised explosives, how to safely operate (if necessary) while improvised mixtures are present, methods of desensitization, as well as a live range demonstration. There is no alternative for this real-world based counter-improvised explosive device training. If you want to be operating at your optimal level and be ready to deal with the threat of improvised explosives and improvised explosive labs, you need to attend this course! Improvised Explosive Formulation Courses

Cost: Basic Awareness: $100.00

Operational (Advanced) Knowledge: $300.00

WHEN: Weekly (Basic: Tuesday) (Advanced: Tuesday/Wednesday)

Where: 1685 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325

Register by e-mail or phone: • 717-648-2792



For more information on the K-9 Version of this class please click here.

Explosive Ordnance Recognition Course

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5 Day EOR


This course is currently instructed in Gettysburg, PA at Tripwire Operations Group and at Sehoy Tactical in Hurtsboro, AL. Contact us below for more information.

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Tripwire Operations Group in conjunction with MREL has developed a 5 day Explosive Ordnance Course. This explosive ordnance disposal training course provides the participant with the comprehensive knowledge to rapidly recognize and accurately identify unexploded military ordnance, as well as, the understanding of basic ordnance functioning and terminology.


Land Service Ammunition:

*Fuzes and Functioning





*Booby Traps


Air Delivered Weapons:


*Incendiary and Pyrotechnic

*Dispensers and Payloads

*Free Flight Rockets

*Guided Weapons


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