Training Courses

From IED training for law enforcement to K9 courses, our training courses are where functionality meets flexibility. Any of our courses can be custom tailored to fit your specific needs and requirements, as well as able to be conducted at our facility in Gettysburg, or brought to a location of your choosing. Click a course for more information.

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Explosives Courses

Introduction to Improvised Explosive Formulations

The growing weapon of choice for criminals and terrorists throughout the world are improvised (homemade) explosives and improvised explosive devices (IED). More than ever before, first responders are increasingly more likely to encounter this type of hazard while performing routine operations. This course provides the basic, yet critical information needed to stay safe, while remaining effective. Students will learn to identify common improvised explosives, chemical precursors and the equipment used in the illicit manufacture of improvised explosives; the hazards associated with precursors and manufacturing; and safe operating procedures. Our highly trained staff consists of Police Bomb Squad and military EOD Technicians who have the operational experience necessary to provide this one-of-a-kind training. There is no alternative for this course. As a first responder, you are in the business of saving lives...this course could save yours!

Basic Improvised Explosive Formulations
The proliferation of homemade explosive devices poses an ongoing threat to our national security. The Basic Homemade Explosives training course offered by the Training Division of Tripwire Operations Group is designed to help First Responders effectively combat the dangers of homemade explosives. The basic HME Course is a three-day training program that focuses on stopping the clandestine proliferation of improvised energetic material that can be used in as sociation with criminal and terrorist activities. The course material is presented by both classroom instruction as well as live field demonstrations and student interactions. Seasoned professionals who have extensive experience working with homemade explosives of all types conduct this course. Our homemade explosives course begins with an introduction to explosives and the various components that are used to build and detonate them. You will also learn about t he explosive devices and techniques deployed by various foreign adversaries. As the homemade explosive course progresses, you will get a more in-depth look at the wide range of materials that can be used to construct explosive devices and gain hands-on experience in using them to create and detonate bombs. There is also a dynamic tool interaction component intended for bomb technicians only. Who Can Benefit From Homemade Explosives Training Courses? This course is useful for law enforcement, military EOD/public safety bomb te chnicians, hazardous materials technicians, fire response, emergency medical serv ice, and military units involved in combating terrorism and protecting our homeland.
Advanced Improvised Explosive Formulations

This course is designed for the operational first responder...the first there. In addition to the information provided in the basic awareness course, 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 oper ate (if necessary) while improvised mixtures are present, methods of desensitization, as well as a live range demonstration. There is absolutely no alternative for this real- world based 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.

Topics will include:

  • Sensitivity evaluation of TATP and HMTD
  • Large-scale production of urea nitrate
  • Fuel oxidizer mixtures such as chlorates and perchlorates
  • Unconventional ammonium nitrate mixtures
  • Liquid explosives
  • Raman and FTIR analysis of homemade explosives
  • Hazmat mitigation of HME production sites
  • Common factors in plots and attacks using improvised explosives mixtures
  • Current terrorist explosives recipes found online15 Hours of Classroom based instruction to include case studies. 25 Hours of Hands on Training. The entire course will build the students understanding of basic and advanced HME culminating in a final scenario dealing with the take down and processing of a clandestine lab. This course is useful for law enforcement, military EOD/public safety bomb technicians, hazardous materials technicians, fire response, emergency medical service , and military units involved in combating terrorism and protecting our homeland.
Counter Vehicle Borne IED (VBIED)

This course is designed for trained military EOD and Public Safety Bomb Technicians who are likely to encounter the threat of various sizes of VBIEDs and LVBIEDs. VBIEDs may be contained in a range of vehicles from small cars to large commercial vehicles, in urban and rural environments. This course defines and identifies the threats specific to various VBIEDs, the factors that will shape the threat analysis, selection of an Incident Control Point, and the formulation of a render-safe procedure. This course also looks at the methods of attacks, best use of disruption tools and methods, forensic procedures and the challenges of exploiting a post VBIED explosion site.

Explosive Materials Handler

This course of instruction is meant to introduce the student to the recognition, safe transportation, storage, safe handling, and firing of energetic materials. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will possess the skills to safely use explosives in a variety of settings.

Course content includes:

  • History and theory of explosive and explosive effects
  • Explosive safety
  • Types of explosive accessories
  • Recognition of low and high explosive formulations
  • Preparation and firing of charges using electric, non-electric, and shock tube initiated blasting caps
  • Response to misfires and other operational issues

This course is facilitated through classroom instruction as well as field training on our range.

Explosive Properties, Effects, Safety

Tripwire Operations Group, a leader providing explosives training to law enforcement agencies and first responders has received numerous calls from the news media after the Boston bombings. The information sought dealt with explosives, improvised explosive devices and bombing investigations. In order to ensure more accurate reporting of explosives related incidents, Tripwire has developed a course of instruction specifically for the news media.

Classroom Instruction

  • Orientation to Conventional Explosive Formulations and Improvised Explosive Devices
  • Orientation to Homemade Explosive Formulations – the latest threats
  • Bombing Scene Search Overview collecting evidence after a blast
  • Demonstrate wearing a bomb suit and experience wearing one

Explosive Magazine Site Visit

  • Go to an explosive magazine (storage site) and view what real explosives look like
  • Observe an Explosives Detection K-9 in action

Explosives Range Demonstration

  • See certified explosives experts manufacture and initiate improvised explosive formulations
  • Experience the force of an explosive blast first-hand
  • See how evidence is collected after a bomb goes off
IED Recognition & Mitigation

Extremist and terrorist employment of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) has increased the importance of a First Responder’s working knowledge of explosives and explosive devices. As the name implies, First Responders are simultaneously the personnel most threatened by, and best positioned to, identify IEDS.

Our IED Recognition and Mitigation Course is designed to provide the knowledge and skills for First Responders to not only identify potential explosive threats, but also to identify the key components critical for determining response procedures. Attendees will participate in classroom lecture and practical labs designed to enhance their understanding of how IEDs function and practical exercises focusing on the identification of an array of IEDs, their components, and triggering mechanisms.* *EOD and Bomb Squad personnel will experience scenario-based exercises that involved advanced mitigation techniques and procedures.
Improvised Explosives Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE)

This course is designed for those first responders and military personnel who need training dealing with the detection and sampling/collection methods of Homemade Explosive Materials. This course is will cover several detection capabilities that are on the market and will have special emphasis on the Ahura line of detection instruments. Students will receive classroom training followed by actual "lab" time. The culmination of the course will be the scenario-based events on the third day, which will require the students to utilize the skills and knowledge acquired on the previous two days.

Classroom Instruction (.5 day)

  • Ahura training
  • HME case studies
  • Sample collection

Field instruction (1.5 days)

  • Ahura drills
  • Clean/dirty man techniques
  • Sensitivity tests
  • Basic HME process demonstration

Field Training Exercise (1 day)

  • Domestic and International problems/scenarios
  • After Action/Debrief
Continuing education credits are available for Fire Service and Emergency Medical professionals in Pennsylvania.
Military Explosive Ordnance Recognition (EOR)

This course is designed for personnel likely to encounter military ordnance during the performance of their official duties. The course covers safety precautions, describes ordnance construction characteristics, and explains the fundamentals of military ordnance fuzing.

Post-Blast Analysis

This course provides practical experience in operational procedures and training for the development of implementable policies in the aftermath of a large-scale bomb scene with casualties. This course will provide training in fundamental scene recovery protocols and spatial techniques to properly process and document a large-scale forensic scene. Attendants will be provided with an introduction to explosives, including military, commercial, and improvised explosive devices. Lectures will range from air and post blast pathologies, structural effects of explosives on buildings and landscapes, bomb scene investigations, and incident scene operations. Guidelines will be discussed for appropriately assessing local and regional threat levels. Protocols designed specifically for mass disaster situations were based on forensic archaeological techniques and require four steps for efficient and effective scene processing: 1) intensive and thorough line-search for and location of physical evidence, 2) collection of three-dimensional spatial data and assignment of field specimen numbers, 3) photographic documentation, and 4) physical evidence collection, preservation, and removal from the scene. Lastly, the morgue infrastructure will be detailed to expedite the post-recovery identification efforts. The course has two different approaches, theoretical and hands-on. Participants will have two days in the classroom learning the theory behind both explosive analytics and forensic archaeological method and then two days participating in hands-on practical field exercises focusing on techniques learned in the classroom.

1-Day Threat Workshop: Homemade Explosives and ISIS Bomb Making Overview

The growing weapon of choice for criminals and terrorists throughout the world are improvised (homemade) explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). More than ever before, first responders are increasingly more likely to encounter this type of hazard while performing routine operations. This workshop provides the basic, yet critical information needed to stay safe, while remaining effective. 

Students will learn to identify common improvised explosives, chemical precursors and the equipment used in the illicit manufacture of improvised explosives; the hazards associated with precursors and manufacturing; and safe operating procedures. 

You will gain an exclusive insight into ISIS bomb making and understand one of the reasons how ISIS is able to defend large cities against the Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga security forces as the coalition forces are fighting their way through the city of Mosul.

 In the workshop, we look at what TTPs (tactics, techniques and procedures) ISIS have been so effective in using against all those that stand in their way. IEDs were critical to ISIS' ability to seize about a third of Iraq and nearly half of Syria in 2014 using a flurry of suicide bombers and vehicle-borne IEDs (VBIEDs) to attack from multiple directions and force their opponents to retreat.

 EOD experts with over 20 years of experience will lead this workshop. Tripwire currently has boots on the ground in Iraq providing life saving training and mitigating explosive hazards to ensure the continued safety of  personnel from several international humanitarian agencies. This enables Tripwire to receive intel directly from the front-line and remain current on day-to-day ISIS threats and TTPs.

Topics To Be Covered:

• HME precursor/manufacturing ID

• HME ID by type

• HME sensitivity demonstration 

• IED types & emplacements

• Discovered IED bomb factories

• VBIED design & employment

• Migration of IEDs to the West



Students will witness first-hand the destructive power of improvised (homemade) explosives on our demolition range. Explosive operations will be performed by experienced Tripwire staff ONLY.

K-9 Courses

Basic Large Explosive Hide
This course is designed to provide the K9 Teams with information regarding odor and training aids that is not readily available to most teams. Students will gain extensive knowledge about the K9 Olfactory System, enabling the handler to fully understand how their dog works and unleash their full potential. Each team will have the opportunity to imprint their K9 on several types of large hides including conventional and improvised explosives.
Attendees will have the opportunity to train with explosive weights from 25 to 5,000 pounds.
Advanced Large Explosive Hide
This course includes all information provided in the basic large hide course, but includes scenario based training exercises in a variety of locations to include an arcade, church, junkyard, bus station, open areas, and more.
Attendees will have the opportunity to train with explosive weights from 25 to 5,000 pounds.
K-9 Improvised Explosive Formulations
Throughout the duration of this course, students will be exposed to peroxide-based improvised explosives formulations (TATP & HMTD) along with over 12 other types of formulations. The handler will have the opportunity to imprint their K9 on all the formulations created during the course. Following imprinting, the formulations will be  utilized in practical exercises, including a post-blast environment. Our staff consists of current and former Bomb/EOD Technicians and K9 handlers/trainers that have the operational experience necessary to provide this advanced training. There is no alternative for this real-world based 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!
K-9 and EOD Integration
In modern tactical law enforcement improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have become a known and persistent threat. The effective integration of SWAT and K9 Teams with Bomb Squad capabilities to deliberately and dynamically address IEDs during tactical operations has proven critical to mission success.

Our tactical integration training bridges the gap between tactical operators and bomb specialists through interoperability skills training. The focal point of this training encompasses the integration of SWAT/K9 and EOD to effectively respond to IEDs in tactical environments. Attendees will participate in classroom study, practical exercises, and situational training exercises intended to reinforce operational principles, enhance specialized skill sets, and operational planning for tactical operations in an environment with IED threats.

  • Explosive effects, properties, & applications
  • Intro to improvised explosives (TATP, HMTD...)
  • IED recognition, familiarization, & trends
  • Transnational threat case study
  • Bomb Suit Don/Doff procedures
  • Multi-agency ttp interpretation
  • Much, much more
Odor Recognition Test (ORT)

During this course, students will learn about odor and training aids as never before. We will dive into the science of odor recognition and the importance of training to target odors.

It is vitally important for the canine to understand and differentiate the scent signatures of illicit compounds and fillers/additives.

Ultimately, this course will make your canine much more efficient and eliminate false alerts.

This is a MUST for all explosive K9 handlers!

Peroxide Based HME Imprinting

This is an exclusive opportunity for K9 Teams to imprint their dogs on threat weight and realistic amounts of TATP and HMTD, mixtures that have caused catastrophic damage in recent terror attacks in Belgium, Turkey, and France.

Join us for K9 imprinting and maintenance training on peroxide-based improvised explosives mixtures every Wednesday, from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM.*

*Other days and times available upon request.

Post-Blast Orientation
One of the most commonly used terrorist bombing techniques of late is the use of what is called a "secondary device." Most recently a secondary device was planted (but did not go off) in the Belgium airport bombing. A recent terrorist attack where the secondary device worked as planned occurred in Thailand. 340 people injured because they did not understand the single most basic concept of terrorist bombings. The first bomb just draws the crowd and the emergency response personnel. The second one does the majority of the damage. K-9 Teams are vital in the searching for and location of secondary devices. Attendees will participate in various scenarios searching for secondary explosive devices within an authentic post-blast environment that is contaminated with explosive residue and scent, debris, and/or distractions.
Pre-CVC Course

Tripwire is poised to be the nations leading explosive training center for Explosive Detection K-9 Teams maintenance or spin-up training prior to attempting the Odor Recognition Test (ORT) and Operational Certification.

Situated in Gettysburg, PA, our facility is a mere 90-minute drive to the national testing/certification center. You will not find a closer, more all-inclusive explosive training facility.

Our exclusive scent refresher training applies to all Department of State and Department of State contractor Explosive Detection K9 Teams.

Whether you want one or five days of training, we will tailor fit the curriculum to fit your requirements.

Tactical R.I.P.E.

When a bomb threat is received, multiple agencies, each with their own K9 Unit, tend to arrive on-scene. This can make a chaotic situation even worse, due to the lack of inter-agency operability, and non-understanding of the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) of other units. This 2-day course will enable teams from separate units to effectively RESPOND, INVESTIGATE, PLAN, & EXECUTE. Following minimal classroom instruction, K9 Teams will participate in full-scale practical scenarios responding to an explosive threat involving multiple agencies. Teams will learn to effectively respond, investigate, plan, execute, and ultimately clear a situation involving suspected explosive threat(s) while working side-by-side with other agency K9 Teams. What is the best method for searching with K9 Teams from multiple agencies? What happens when a change of behavior or alert is identified? How do you ensure all teams are safely notified and evacuated? Are you prepared to assist the Bomb Squad/EOD Team in identifying and locating a device? This course will answer these questions, ensure you are fully prepared to operate in a multi-agency situation, and much more.

Our lead instructor has over 23 years experience in federal law enforcement canine operations and training. He recently retired from the Federal Government as the Commander, National Canine Program Manger. Prior to working in DHS, he worked for the United States Capitol Police for 21 years, as a Patrol Division Canine Sergeant responsible for the daily operational supervision of patrol officers and canine technicians and the Sergeant in-charge and Lead Instructor of the United States Capitol Police Canine Training Center. Our extensive roster of cadre also includes current and former SWAT/SRT officers, Bomb Squad Commanders, and military EOD Technicians.

Dynamic Entry Courses

Explosive Breaching

This dynamic entry course serves to introduce attendees to all proper procedures required to stand-up a new, or advance an already existing explosive entry component.  This course takes place over 5-days, and is designed for personnel with no to limited experience with energetic materials and explosive compounds.

Throughout the duration of this course, students will learn the following topics, in a combination of classroom and range environments:

  • Range safety briefing
  • Flashbang safety briefing
  • Explosive safety
  • Minimum safe distance for personnel in the open
  • Conventional demolition misfires procedures
  • Training misfire procedures
  • Breaching charge misfire sops
  • Characteristics of demolition charges
  • Characteristics of explosives
  • Characteristics of multiple demolition & shaped charges
  • Borehole sizes
  • Disposal of demolition materials
  • Breaching test report worksheet
  • Breaching bag inventory list
  • Exothermic cutting torch, thermal arc cutter, abrasive saw, hand-pumps, etc.
  • Firing systems, techniques, & methods
  • Types of shaped charges, cutting tape, EFPs, & cutters
  • Proper loading, emplacement, & expectations of charges/cutters
  • Firefight simulator and weapon simulator instructions
  • Varying material tech sheets
  • Standoff tables
  • Tape bend radius
  • Determining charge for identified target
  • Standard, improvised, & field expedient breaching charges
  • Overpressure calculations
  • Conversion tables/charts
  • Natural trigonometric functions
  • Temperature reference points
  • ASTM specifications


Firearms Courses (Coming Soon!)

  • Combat Rifle Marksmanship
  • Defensive Pistol Marksmanship
  • Vehicle Gunfighting Fundamentals
  • Advanced Shotgun Marksmanship
  • Small Unit Movement and Tactics
  • Low Light Environment Marksmanship