Counter IED - Defeating The Unseen

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Patriots
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Counter IED - Defeating The Unseen

Post by Patriots » September 26th, 2018, 5:48 pm

Counter IED - Defeating The Unseen
by Staff Sgt. James Avery
U.S. Army 1st Brigade Combat Team,10th Mountain Division
September 26, 2018

The Improvised Explosive Device, or IED, is a well-known threat to service members operating in potentially hostile environments like Afghanistan and Iraq. This weapon has inflicted a destructive toll since Operation Enduring Freedom, but 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) aims to combat this menace by teaching the Company Crew Specialist Course at Fort Drum’s Home Station Training Center. The course emphasizes the use of Soldier awareness and tech gear like the THOR III, a man-portable device used to defeat radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (RC-IEDs) and disrupt enemy communications on the battlefield.

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U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Allen (center), an electronic warfare specialist, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), describes the functionality of the THOR III to 1BCT Soldiers during the Company Crew Specialist Course, July 11, 2018. During 1the course Soldiers learn how to electronically defeat IED’s and be observant of their surroundings. (U.S. Army photo by SSG James Avery, 1BCT, 10th Mountain Div.)
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“1st Brigade is the most deployed combat unit in the world,” said course instructor Staff Sgt. Matthew Kiser, an electronic warfare specialist with 10th Brigade Support Battalion, 1BCT. “To be at that level requires us to move freely on the battlefield. Knowing you can stop an IED before you see it is a real confidence builder.”

Many IED’s placed by terrorists can be set off using a simple cell phone signal or radio transmission. That’s where the THOR III comes in.

The course also includes lessons against vehicle-borne IED’s (VBIED) as well as command wire IED’s. Command wire IED’s require a person to push the detonation button from a relatively close distance. In those instances THOR disrupts cell-phone and radio signals, meaning enemies can’t communicate troop movements and locations to their cooperators.

During the course Soldiers also operate as a mock Explosive Ordnance Disposal squad that patrols roads while marking or clearing simulated IED’s.

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A group of Soldiers with 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountian Division (LI) act as a mock Explosive Ordnance Disposal squad, clearing a road while marking or clearing simulated IED’s with the help of the THOR III, during 1BCT’s Company Crew Specialist Course, July 11, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by SSG James Avery, 1BCT, 10th Mountain Div.)
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“Everybody should have the basic knowledge of this equipment,” said Pfc. Cheyanne Claspill, a motor transport operator with 10th BSB, 1BCT. “I’ve never deployed, so I’ve never seen this equipment before. I never knew we could disrupt signals to IED’s. This training makes me feel confident that we can improve Soldiers’ safety.”

The lessons learned here will be sent to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, as well other Department of Defense training operations and forward deployed missions where Soldiers lives depend on it.

The 1BCT prides itself on being “Ready Now,” and also staying “Relevant Tomorrow.” Instructional, hands on courses like the Company Crew Specialist Course keeps Soldiers informed, confident, and best of all, safe.