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The Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) is preparing to deploy members to Iraq where 145 roadside bomb attacks carried out by Islamic State militants killed more than 804 people and wounded more than 1,287 last month, according to officials and documents.
That’s more than double the number of IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attacks in Afghanistan in October, according to JIEDDO data. There were 74 IED attacks in Afghanistan last month, killing more than 302 people and injuring more than 298.
JIEDDO has a lot of experience in Iraq where its members spent much of the last decade analyzing roadside bomb attacks and leading efforts to build technology to find and defuse these explosive devices. But unlike the last time when U.S. soldiers were in a leading role, this time is different since Americans are in advisory and assistance roles.
JIEDDO technicians are constantly building prototype bombs with current and future technology to find ways to defeat future IEDs:
- Handheld Detectors: Everything from a standard metal detector to ground penetrating radar. It has also deployed body-worn sensors that allow a soldier to keep his head up and now looking at the ground. JIEDDO is using new automated training equipment makes sure a soldier uses the proper bomb sweeping techniques. This will speed up training and increase the number of soldiers trained, officials said.
- Vehicle Mounted Sensors: JIEDDO has fielded larger versions of the handheld detectors that can be mounted on the front of virtually any military vehicle. It is now working to combine different vehicle sensors into a single system.
- Drones and Robots: These small drones and have special cameras that can see at night and hot spots on the ground that could be a bomb. These lightweight drones and robots can fit in a backpack and the robots can climb stairs.
- Video Game-Like Trainers: JIEDDO is developing a training system akin to popular video games. The life-like virtual trainers simulate ground patrols where a soldier would need to use different types of detectors or tools to find IEDs buried in the road.