Wednesday, February 3, 2010

RAF counter-IED team prepare for first Afghan deployment

Members of the RAF's 5131 (Bomb Disposal) Squadron have been preparing for their deployment to Helmand in March.

There they will be taking part in the fight against IEDs and reducing their threat to UK and Afghan forces.

In 2009, 75 per cent of UK casualties in Afghanistan were a result of improvised explosive devices. Reducing this sad tally has now become the main effort for Defence as Colonel Robert Herring, Assistant Head of Joint EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and Search, explained:

"IEDs kill and injure a large number of both Afghan civilians and UK forces.

"To that end the MOD has been putting a significant amount of investment in resources to do something about it and it has been made Defence's highest priority.

"There is no single solution, there is no panacea. There is no equipment solution, no technological solution or particular way of operating that will solve the problem. It is a multi-faceted approach to solving the problem."

As part of that multi-faceted approach, the team from 5131 (Bomb Disposal) Squadron will, on the front line in Helmand, be responding to notifications from units on the ground of possible IED finds.

Working together with a search team from 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD), who will be tasked to identify and secure the device, the RAF bomb disposal experts will use technological aids such as the Dragon Runner robot to confirm, disarm and remove the device - thereby freeing up the route for other forces and Afghan locals.

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  1. Quite a bit about this team last night's TV. Cannot now recall details of channel though

  2. I wish these very brave men all the best. Live long and prosper.

  3. I am writing to see if a suggestion can be implemented to maybe make the job of IED removal a little easier and safer. Has anyone tried to take a high pressure water hose (like fire hose) and shoot a stream of high pressure water into and across an area where the suspected IEDs are or down a road or anywhere you want to go. The water has the pressure to set off most pressure devices. It can also short out any wires that are attached to an electrically activated device so that they may fail to ignite. The water, pressure hoses and pumps are one hell of a lot less expensive than the rockets and explosive devices that are used to detonate IEDs. Also the force of the spray can expose wires or other devices that are beneath the surface. And as a comical side note, you can be irrigating some of those god awfully dry dust bowls you walk around in.

    I can’t believe that you couldn’t come in with a fire fighting helo that has the water bucket for dropping water on fires and make a lot of drops for a lot less money and a lot less time than sending some poor guy out there to feel around for something.

    You might try to see that if the water shorts out the wires that are used to detonate (positive to negative, works for every other circuit I’ve ever been involved with).

    I’d like to see if those suggestions work. Seems like something really simple that works, might stop those idiots from making them.

    Let me know, please…