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: R/D truck
By EricMartello on 8/7/2011 11:48:30 PM , Rating: 2
Because for this purpose none of that matters. They're using the toys to detonate bombs and the video camera is merely to allow someone to drive it from far away. Who cares if they jam the signal? It wouldn't be worth the effort because this is nothing like a predator drone or something that actually has "sensitive" hardware onboard.

As for them seeing the video feed...uhhh...the enemy knows where they planted the bomb so it wont reveal anything "secret" to them, and since neither the toy nor the camera can be turned on remotely they cannot be be used by the enemy for spying on unsuspecting soldiers.

Last I checked nothing comes without drawbacks, but this is a simple solution whose benefits outweigh any of its drawbacks.

RE: R/D truck
By augiem on 8/8/2011 3:31:08 PM , Rating: 2
They will know exactly where the patrols are patrolling. That is a danger to the troops. They cannot only turn the camera on when they find a bomb because they don't know where the bomb will be. Therefore, between the camera and the source of the unsecured signal, there is intel there.

RE: R/D truck
By jabber on 8/8/2011 6:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yes of dusty ground from 5 inches up.


RE: R/D truck
By augiem on 8/8/2011 7:01:05 PM , Rating: 2
Nevermind. Nobody here has any imagination. Typical.

RE: R/D truck
By jabber on 8/9/2011 5:18:50 AM , Rating: 2
Some have a little too much, lol.

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