High Tech Training to Counter IEDs – Roadside Bombs

Afghan National Army soldiers from the 205th Kandak detonate an improvised explosive device discovered on a hillside in Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Dec. 29. The ANA soldiers found the IED while conducting a security patrol in the area.

BY ALEX COOK and BOBBIE O’BRIEN

The military members came from 45 different countries but all with one purpose – to find better ways to find and disarm IEDs, improvised explosive devices. The roadside bombs have claimed thousands of lives military and civilian in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. Central Command at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base hosted a conference for Counter IED Trainers this week. The focus was to teach soldiers how to think like the insurgents they will confront overseas.

Part of the training involved passing through a series of four trailers each detailing a unique aspect of IEDs like one trailer set up like a bomb makers’ shed.

The following video, shot and produced by WUSF intern Alex Cook, takes you through the four trailers for a taste of training on countering IED bomb blasts.

In the high-tech training, service members pass through a series of four trailers, each focused on a unique aspect of IEDs. They received briefings from virtual characters and participate in simulations meant to help them think like insurgents. The new training system is in use at 13 military bases around the country.

MacDill Air Force Base Marks an Early Memorial Day

MacDill Air Force Base personnel remembered their fallen comrades during an early Memorial Day ceremony.

By Alex Cook

Memorial Day isn’t until Monday, but members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines held a ceremony on MacDill Air Force Base Thursday honoring those who have died serving their country.

The mood was somber as the military formation gathered under the American flag. A 21-gun salute pierced the silence, followed by a lone bugler playing Taps.

Colonel Lenny Richoux, commander of the 6th Air Mobility Wing, led the tribute by presenting a wreath in honor of those who gave their lives for their country.

“All who have worn the uniform know we swear to support and defend the Constitution and we’ll pay the ultimate price – make the ultimate sacrifice,” said Richoux during his speech. “These great Americans and thousands like them who heard the calling of their nation gave all they had so that we can enjoy this beautiful day in Tampa Bay in the great state of Florida, in these United States, the greatest nation on the planet.”

A steel beam salvaged from the World Trade Center sat on display as a reminder of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have claimed the lives of almost 6000 service members over the last decade.

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