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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: R/D truck
By DarkUltra on 8/8/2011 2:52:23 AM , Rating: 2
I'd thought the NATO and US military would find a good counter to the EIDs back when they were initially encountered! Or at least have the troops always be inside a well armored vehicle on patrols and avoid patrolling places where they can't use said vehicle. If this toy can counter 10% of every currently fatal EID encounter, it would save a lot of lives!

The poor and desperate are attracted to religion, it is important to make the day to day life of the average Afghan person better. Infrastructure and education comes to mind.

RE: R/D truck
By Calin on 8/8/2011 3:04:44 AM , Rating: 2
They found counters to the IEDs, and the insurgents found better IEDs.

RE: R/D truck
By danjw1 on 8/8/2011 11:00:00 AM , Rating: 2
Much of the areas in Afghanistan that need to be patrolled are not navigable by vehicles. Particularly on the boarder with Pakistan.

RE: R/D truck
By danjw1 on 8/8/2011 11:49:11 AM , Rating: 2
Particularly on the boarder with Pakistan.

Sorry about that it was a quick reply, it should be border, obviously.

RE: R/D truck
By th3pwn3r on 8/8/2011 1:23:43 PM , Rating: 2
YOU MUST preview before you can post is for a reason :D

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