Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization

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Joint IED Defeat Organization
Current JIEDDO Logo.png
Agency overview
Formed February 14, 2006
Headquarters The Pentagon
Employees 435 government civilians and military personnel; ~1,900 contract personnel
Annual budget $1.6 billion for fiscal year 2013[1]
Agency executives Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, U.S. Army, Director[2]
B. Ray Fitzgerald, Vice Director[2]
Parent agency U.S. Department of Defense

The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO, pronounced like "ji-dough") is a jointly operated U.S. military organization of the Department of Defense established in February 2006 to deal with improvised explosive devices (IEDs).[3] JIEDDO's mission is to "focus (lead, advocate, coordinate) all Department of Defense actions in support of the Combatant Commanders’ and their respective Joint task forces’ efforts to defeat IEDs as weapons of strategic influence".


Operating under the authority of the Deputy Secretary of Defense, JIEDDO's director serves as principal adviser to the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on IED matters. JIEDDO is organized along a deputy director structure with supporting divisions aligned under a chief of staff. There are three primary lines of operation: attacking the network,[4] defeating the device,[5] and training the force.[6]


JIEDDO's "Attack the Network" operation enables offensive operations against networks of financiers, IED makers, trainers, and supporting infrastructure by providing intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, information operations, counter-bomber targeting, biometrics, and weapons technical intelligence.[7]

JIEDDO's Counter-IED Operations/Intelligence Integration Center (COIC) was established in August 2006 to support the combat commanders with fused analytical products. It works with more than 30 government and intelligence agencies and since its inception has provided more than 15,000 products. JIEDDO was one of the first U.S. government agencies to employ Palantir's data mining technology (as of 2013, it still used Palantir).[8]

Defensive technologies[edit]

The Defeat the Device line of operation enhances freedom of maneuver and safe operations for coalition forces, focusing on providing defensive technologies to detect IEDs, neutralize them before they can be detonated or mitigate the effects of detonation.[9] JIEDDO's rapid acquisition ability makes it unique. JIEDDO can develop a solution and have it making a positive effect on the battlefield in as little as three to four months—75% faster than the regular acquisition process. It streamlines decisions and resource allocation by consolidating the Department of Defense's three major decision-making processes (acquisition, future requirements, and financial management) under one authority. Flexible funding authorities provided by the U.S. Congress also helps.

JIEDDO works with private industry and requests for proposals are regularly posted on the JIEDDO BIDS Portal.[10] JIEDDO's counter-IED capability areas include countering threat-networks, detection, neutralizing IEDs, limiting homemade explosives, information integration and fusion to increase situational awareness, weapons technical intelligence, and counter-IED training.


"Train the Force" is JIEDDO's third line of operation.[11] The Joint Center of Excellence (JCOE), established in April 2006, is JIEDDO's lead organization for the train-the-force line of operation and is responsible for developing the training that enables this.[12] Led by JIEDDO's deputy director of training and located at the Army's National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, JCOE provides support to joint and service institutions and assists with developing counter-IED doctrine and tactics, techniques, and procedures. It has contributed significantly to the institutionalization of combat-proven counter-IED training.

JCOE's four subordinate centers of excellence are located at high-throughput training locations. The Army Center of Excellence, also located at the National Training Center, supports the U.S. Army's fielding of new equipment and the integration of counter-IED training into pre-deployment training.[13] The Marine detachment, located at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, supports U.S. Marine battalion and regimental combat team pre-deployment training.[14] The U.S. Air Force Center of Excellence at Lackland AFB, Texas, provides joint subject-matter experts in electronic warfare; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; and military working dogs. The U.S. Navy Center of Excellence, located at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, Maryland, provides expertise in counter-radio-controlled IED electronic warfare, robotics, homemade explosives (HMEs), and explosive ordnance disposal.[15]


JIEDDO traces its origins to the U.S. Army's Counter-IED Task Force established in 2003 under the leadership of U.S. Army Brigadier General Joseph Votel, to respond to the rapidly escalating IED threat at the outset of the Iraq War in 2003. In mid-2004, then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz transformed the Army-led organization into a joint IED task force reporting directly to him. Remaining under the leadership of Brigadier General Votel, the once-small group could now leverage experience and expertise of warfighters across the services, enhance its networks attack focus, increase procurement of device-defeat tools, and build a robust set of IED-specific force training operations. As the IED threat in Iraq continued to escalate, a Deputy's Advisory Working Group convened in December 2005 and recommended the creation of a permanent organization. On February 14, 2006, then-Deputy Secretary of Defense, Gordon England signed Department of Defense Directive 2000.19E, establishing JIEDDO. U.S. Army General, Montgomery C. Meigs, served as JIEDDO's first director.[16]

In August 2012, the Government Accountability Office published a report criticizing the significant duplication and overlap between JIEDDO and other efforts within the Pentagon to counter IEDs such as developing similar robotics technologies and chemical sensors. Specifically, the report noted that "From fiscal years 2006 through 2011, JIEDDO has received over $18 billion in funding, however, DOD has funded other C-IED efforts outside of JIEDDO, including $40 billion for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles".[17]

In February 2013, the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces asked the Department of Defense issue a report on outlining JIEDDO's future to include how the agency could be split up should Secretary of Defense decide to break up the organization.[18]

In December 2014, The Guardian reported that according to a declassified internal report, JIEDDO had inappropriately acted as an intelligence agency for many years.[19] The report, titled "Investigation of a Hotline Allegation of a Questionable Intelligence Activity Concerning the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) Counter-IED Operations/Intelligence Integration Center (COIC)",[20] noted that JIEDDO collected information on "American companies and their executives, people inside the United States, U.S. military personnel, and Afghan farmers". Despite criticism from the U.S. Department of Defense, it continues to carry out intelligence functions. The Guardian article also mentioned that JIEDDO "used aliases and impersonated U.S. college students to gather information", notified U.S. companies that did business with a Pakistani company "with no real ties to terrorism", and engaged in improper surveillance by collecting and "improperly retain[ing]" the telephone numbers in the United States as well as those of the United States’ Five Eyes intelligence partners (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK). It also revealed that JIEDDO mishandled information accessed from a National Security Agency database "at least once".[19]

JIEDDO directors[edit]


  1. ^ "Bill Text - 113th Congress (2013-2014) - THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  2. ^ a b "JIEDDO - Leadership". 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  3. ^ "Department of Defense Directive 2000.19E"
  4. ^ "JIEDDO - Attack the Network". 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  5. ^ "JIEDDO - Defeat the Device". 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  6. ^ "JIEDDO - Train the Force". 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  7. ^ "JIEDDO - Attack the Network". 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  8. ^ Burns, Matt (January 11, 2015). "Leaked Palantir Doc Reveals Uses, Specific Functions And Key Clients". TechCrunch. 
  9. ^ "JIEDDO - Defeat the Device". 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  10. ^ "JIEDDO BIDS Portal". Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  11. ^ "JIEDDO - Train the Force". 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  12. ^ "Pages - default". 2010-11-20. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  13. ^ "Pages - default". 2010-11-20. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  14. ^ "Twentynine Palms". Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  15. ^ "NAWCTSD: Center of Excellence". Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ Cary B. Russell (August 1, 2012). Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices: Multiple DOD Organizations are Developing Numerous Initiatives (GAO-12-861R). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Accountability Office. 
  18. ^ Osborn, Kris (May 23, 2013). "Congress Requests Plan to Close JIEDDO". 
  19. ^ a b Spencer Ackerman (19 December 2014). "Pentagon anti-bomb force 'improperly retained' information on Americans". The Guardian. 
  20. ^ "Pentagon taskforce 'inappropriately collected information' – read the declassified report". The Guardian. 19 December 2014. 

Further reading[edit]