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FBI takes control of Hazardous Devices School on Redstone Arsenal after 45-year partnership with Department of the Army

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - A new chapter began on Wednesday for the Hazardous Devices School on Redstone Arsenal. That's the training site for all United States public safety bomb technicians.

For forty-five years, a joint partnership between the Department of the Army and the FBI was responsible for the school. Now, the FBI has primary responsibility.

"It's a huge responsibility, taking this on as the lead agency," FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said. "We've learned so much from the army over the last 45 years. We feel like we're well placed to take on this mission."

The FBI will still collaborate with the US Army - that's not changing. But, the training facilities and numbers will grow.

"To put even more state and local, federal bomb techs through the school, ensure that folks are adequately trained and have the opportunity to re-cert here at HDS," McCabe said of the future of the Hazardous Devices School.

As events like the bombing in Elizabeth, New Jersey unfold, the public should know that those helping have ties to the school at Redstone Arsenal.

"The training they get here has to be state of the art, it has to be up to date," Hazardous Devices School Director Jeffrey Warren said. "It has to be relevant because what that does is it prepares them for the kind of events we saw last weekend.

The potential future threats to the country keeps the US bomb technicians working ceaselessly on their skills.

"It's changing constantly with each one of these tragic events, we are able to mine some best practices, new intelligence, a better understanding of how the adversary's deploying these devices," McCabe said. "How they're building these devices and of course the lethal effects of these devices."

The Hazardous Devices School was established in 1971 when the US faced strained military resources and an increase in domestic bombings.