IEDs Up Close and Personal; or the other way to reduce the supply
An IED sweep consists mostly of riding down the roads trying to induce explosions, or, if the platoon is lucky, spotting the device first. Most IEDs are found when they detonate. The fact that bombs are common doesn't diminish the danger: we lost a soldier here last week to an IED.
The idea behind the sweeps is to send armored combat troops to clear the IEDs before less-prepared or less-armored troops drive through. From a military leader's perspective, the wisdom of this tactic is both obvious and inarguable. But from a soldier's perspective—especially the ones conducting the sweeps—this wisdom requires guts. They all know the risk. They all know people who have died in Iraq. But they keep going. Everybody I run with here on Gabe has been hit by more than one IED.
A few weeks ago, Renegade Platoon was conducting a sweep for roadside bombs in Baquba. The attached video was shot by Renegade. I stayed on base the morning of this explosion, but one of the soldiers had attached his video camera to a radio on a Humvee. All of the soldiers came through this explosion fine. In fact, two of them reenlisted in the Army just hours after this attack.
Please excuse the combat language in the video.
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