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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 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


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