Military & Special Operations


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Sensitive Site Exploitation

"This includes factories with technical data on enemy explosive bomb making facilities, weapon systems, war crimes sites, critical hostile government facilities, areas suspected of containing persons of high rank in a hostile government or organization, terrorist money laundering, document storage areas for secret police forces."

"Sensitive site exploitation consists of a series of activities inside a sensitive site captured from an adversary." This may include detecting identifying explosive traces or being able to quickly name bulk explosive in storage; it could also include identifying narcotics or narcotics precursor chemicals such as acetic anhydride, a precursor used in processing opium to make heroin.

"A sensitive site is a designated, geographically limited area with special military, diplomatic, economic, or information sensitivity for the United States," according to the Army Field Manual on Intelligence

"These activities exploit personnel, documents, electronic data, material captured at the site, while neutralizing any threat posed by the site or its contents. While the physical process of exploiting the sensitive site begins at the site itself, full exploitation may involve teams of experts located around the world." The Field Forensics range of E.L.I.T.E.™IDEX™, and ULTRA™ explosives detection kits enables operators to conduct SSE quickly, efficiently with minimum equipment. The DABIT range of narcotics identification tests 

For further background description of some fairly recent sensitive site operations, see a seminar paper entitled "The Strategic Implications of Site Sensitive Exploitation" by Col. Thomas S. Vandal, National Defense University (2003). Also see also "Managing Site Sensitive Exploitation" by Major Pete Lofy (2003).



There are two main types of check points, permanent (PCP) spontaneous (SCP)  within each definition you then have vehicle personnel, both have their own characteristics. Special Operation forces will rarely be involved in PCP's

Check points are established to enable a Special Operations Team unit to control access to the their area of responsibility.  By searching people vehicles at checkpoints, explosives weapons or other items that may used to undermine the unit's mission can be discovered confiscated.  Check points allow the area of operations to remain immune from outside influence to keep the ratio of enemy to friendly forces unchanged.  They also deny the enemy intelligence gathering opportunities.  Spontaneous check points make a large contribution to the security of military personnel units to the local population within the area of operations. To be effective these spontaneous check points must be set up in such a way so that they cannot be "by passed".

Location - In many of the conflicts  the location of vehicle checkpoints will often be between two or more ethnic, political or religious factions. In these cases, PCP's will have to be erected along the existing boundaries between the warring factions, whereas initially the task may be given spontaneously to SOF.

Examples of SCP improvised road obstacles include:

  • The Beirut toothpick - "nails driven through lumber placed across the road or other vehicle accessible areas".
  • Vehicles.
  • Felled trees.
  • Debris, rubble or large rocks.
  • Highway construction barriers.
  • Dumpsters.

The Field Forensics range of E.L.I.T.E.™ Explosive Detection Tools are lightweight, will operate properly even in extreme conditions, require no power source give extremely low false positives.

For more information on our explosives detection kits please visit or Explosives Detection page .

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