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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 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.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Paki

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
quote:
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)


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