Friday, January 27, 2012

January 25 2000

Fort Lewis Strykers preparing for their day. Enlarge the image to see the artillery these carry. In front of the vehicle is a "SPARK", self protective adaptive roller kit. Roller banks are designed to cause the pressure plate IED to detonate under the rollers instead of the armored vehicle. Behind the Stryker is a light duty MRAP and an up armored semi. The semi has the same MRAP type V shaped frame, designed to deflect an  IED blast outward, not upward, away from the vehicle compartment.
        IED design, using copper formed in a concave shape to enclose the explosive, turns the copper into a molten material capable of burning through 8" of steel. Unbelievably destructive. Soldiers in the Iraq war struggled to protect themselves from these deadly charges, often strapping whatever they could find to the bottom of their Humvee. From garbage can lids to doors from destroyed hummers they used what was available. The loss of life and limb from this learning curve was devastating. A deadly game of cat and mouse, no sooner did we identify and take measures against one type of attack, another was quickly devised. As one general said "show me a ten foot wall and I'll show you an eleven foot ladder".  Highway One is littered with patches from the IED, scores of good guy individuals design and install "culvert denial" systems to keep the easily placed IED out. All the while, drone craft do their part to watch the highways for insurgents placing IEDs. This is a full time job for both sides.
        In other middle east news, radical Muslims in Iraq continue their favorite past time, killing other Muslims. 28 killed today in a funeral procession suicide bombing, 17 yesterday, 53 on January 14, for a total of over 200 since the first of the year. Hard to believe they were not shooting at the US forces as we were leaving last month. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth knowing that the US spent a trillion dollars to stabilize that country(?) and in record time the meltdown has begun.
      In slightly different news, Syrian President (?) Assad continues his slaughter of citizens there. Stepped up attacks on citizens by pro-regime forces are now using mortars to destroy buildings in neighborhoods. A representative for Assad was quoted as saying that  indiscriminate sniper fire and kidnappings were not sending a strong enough message. Arab monitors have left to figure out what to do. Any takers for this one, it's coming.

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