Friday, September 18, 2009
By Caroline Wyatt
Defence correspondent, BBC News
Click here to see the BBC Video report
Improvised explosive devices - IEDs - are the deadliest threat facing British forces in Afghanistan, and more resources than ever are being deployed to limit the threat of the Taliban's tactic of choice.
The bleak and windswept land with its thin tufts of grass is criss-crossed with wires and oblong packages half-hidden in holes in the ground. We are warned not to get too close - the ground beneath our feet is riddled with explosives.
This is not Helmand, but Shoeburyness, Essex, where British army bomb disposal experts are doing their final training before they deploy to Afghanistan later this month with 11 Brigade.
Training to counter this threat has increased markedly over the past months, not only for bomb disposal experts but also for ordinary soldiers now acquiring more specialised counter-IED knowledge as part of basic training.