Print 47 comment(s) - last by Lee Carhoff.. on Aug 9 at 6:19 PM

Insurgents are becoming more creative when designing IEDs  (Source: AP)

  (Source: Columbia Pictures)
A simple RC truck with a wireless camera helped save US lives in Afghanistan

A bit of luck and a gift from a serviceman's family member helped save six U.S. service members currently deployed in Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Fessenden used a basic RC truck with an attached wireless video camera able to scout ahead while out on patrol.  After loaning the truck to a different unit, the little RC vehicle set off a 500-lb. IED blast triggered by a hidden trip wire.

Since he first received the device in 2007, it helped locate multiple suspected IEDs designed to cause as much devastation as possible.  Staff Sgt. Fessenden's brother and shop friend plan to try and create a new truck that can be shipped for use in Afghanistan.

It may sound silly that a small RC toy truck is being used to detect IEDs, but troops on the ground are willing to accept any help they can.  Techniques have ranged from trained dogs to sniff out IEDs to better intelligence from locals that run the risk of repercussion from the Taliban.  

The U.S. Air Force continually uses high-resolution cameras to try and locate IEDs, while ground troops use metal detectors and similar devices to find IEDs.  Growing use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has also helped identify insurgents planting roadside bombs, along with pinpoint precision strikes to destroy the munitions.

Insurgents routinely use IED attacks -- including booby-trapped items and bodies -- before sometimes launching small-arms attacks on soldiers.  

Unfortunately, soldier amputations from Afghan IED attacks have dramatically increased as soldiers dismount armored vehicles to carry out foot patrols.  

Using cell phones, devices with on-off switches, or connecting wires to set off IEDs, insurgents are very familiar with U.S. patrol tactics -- an important lesson to military officers trying to stifle the catastrophic damage from IEDs.

U.S. lawmakers and Pakistan are already testing the boundaries of a weary relationship with growing concern that about 84 percent of ammonium nitrate used in IEDs comes from two Pakistani plants.  

Questions related to IED attacks should remain a major topic as the number of killed and wounded by these sometimes sophisticated devices continues to increase.

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RE: Pakistan: No Friend of Ours
By Uncle on 8/7/2011 12:35:20 PM , Rating: 5
No it doesn't. Pakis is what we have called them for 60 years. Its all this political correctness that has turned the name to mean something its not. Kinda like Gay=Happy, Queer=Odd. Years ago we called Homos, Queer because they were an odd lot.Someone out their decided that certain words recently, were insulting and used the racial or bigot words to stop freedom of expression. So getting back Pakis is in the word Pakistan, so if you want to see a racial problem then that is your problem not his.
Your doing it now, this individual states a comment, no racial attacks what so ever, and you try to shut him up by using the racial line. Grow up, we all don't come from the same school or time period.

RE: Pakistan: No Friend of Ours
By drycrust3 on 8/7/11, Rating: -1
RE: Pakistan: No Friend of Ours
By augiem on 8/7/2011 3:31:08 PM , Rating: 4
Good Lord. It's just an abbreviation! How could that possibly be offensive? Now we're all supposed to use the Queen's proper English every time we post on a forum I guess. I wish society would just pull the stick out and get it over with. Sigh.

RE: Pakistan: No Friend of Ours
By jabber on 8/7/11, Rating: 0
RE: Pakistan: No Friend of Ours
By DarkUltra on 8/8/2011 2:28:18 AM , Rating: 1
I agree. I would not call them "Pakis" in any context because I don't know for sure if it wouldn't be provoking. Even the smallest provoke can ignite bad feelings, I see all the time on internet discussions.

RE: Pakistan: No Friend of Ours
By ClownPuncher on 8/8/2011 11:41:16 AM , Rating: 3
They sound like a violent lot, then. Clean up your country.

RE: Pakistan: No Friend of Ours
By Samus on 8/8/2011 1:27:16 PM , Rating: 1
Politically, the United States is the middle-east's bitch. If we don't su...I mean pay them off and give them a nice lap...I mean world-wide support, then our oil prices will sky rocket even higher than they already have.

We basically screwed up by overthrowing Sadam Husain. We was essentially on our side, in that his enemies were our enemies. He maintained order and control in a very strategic part of the middle east, and now that there is no order and control there, look whats happening to Syria and Egypt.

By ClownPuncher on 8/8/2011 1:36:36 PM , Rating: 2
Hi, I'm from the US, and we buy most of our oil from Canada. Canada is a nice neighbor, even if they do eat poutine up der.

If you're referring to the Saudis, I don't trust them either.

By cruisin3style on 8/8/2011 2:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
Seems like you're already having a go with punctuation

By BugblatterIII on 8/8/2011 3:48:57 AM , Rating: 2
Is this a cultural thing? In the UK it's an extremely offensive word:

Over here it's loaded with hatred, victimisation and even murder. Using it instantly paints you as a racist.

I've never heard of a non-racist usage; is it genuinely just an abbreviation in the US? I know when we say 'asians' we generally mean Indians and Pakistanis, whereas in the US it usually means Chinese, Japanese etc. Also in the UK 'oriental' is fine whereas I read that in some parts of the US it's considered offensive.

If it is just a cultural difference then be warned, if you happen to visit the UK do NOT use the word or you may be shocked by the response.

RE: Pakistan: No Friend of Ours
By BugblatterIII on 8/8/2011 4:24:04 AM , Rating: 1
I'm forty, and in the UK that word has been offensive for as long as I can remember.

You can see there it's been offensive since the 60's. Over here only racists use it, although admittedly with the older generation it's generally used with more of a casual bigotry than real hatred.

Perhaps things are different in the US, and if so then we've both learned something; however I'm not being childish.

RE: Pakistan: No Friend of Ours
By tng on 8/8/2011 10:04:39 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps things are different in the US, and if so then we've both learned something; however I'm not being childish.
I am in the US and I have never heard the usage "Pakis". Cultural thing I would think, there has been a Pakistani presence in the UK for much longer than the US maybe?

Really, IMO the continued pointing out of certain words that may or may not be racist depending on use and area of the world just furthers racism as a whole. Some people are way to sensitive.

Use of the word "fag" in the UK is different than here, yet going off on a Brit because he was going to "Smoke a fag..." is unproductive in the long run and promotes bad feelings. Can't we all just get along.......

By BugblatterIII on 8/8/2011 3:04:52 PM , Rating: 2
For the most part I agree; I'm not PC and get frustrated with the PC culture.

However there are exceptions, and in the UK the p-word is our n-word.

Interesting that you've never heard the term. Perhaps some Americans have picked it up from elsewhere not understanding the background.

Well this type of cultural exchange is one of the great things about the internet, so it was worth getting a -1 for ;o)

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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