26 June 2006

IED hunting

Yesterday afternoon and evening we went on an AOR patrol which is basically an IED-hunting mission. There are several roads within our area of responsibility (thus, AOR) that we drive search for IEDs. If we find them, we call in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) experts to clear the IED.

The roads we cover vary from completely rural two-lane highway, to semi-urban areas, to rural dirt roads. It's an important mission, of course, because we're clearing roads that other soldiers are travelling on all the time. Fortunately, we didn't encounter any IEDs.

We did, however, encounter more crazy Iraqi drivers. I have spoken about them before. 95% of all Iraqi drivers will pull off the road and stop (in both directions) when an American convoy is coming through, very similar to what people often do for emergency vehicles. However, that few remainder seem to do stupid and crazy stuff sometimes, not stopping, or attempting to pass, or whatever. The real issue here is whether those drivers are just being stupid, or do they have a bomb in their car and are going after a coalition vehicle or checkpoint? As you might imagine, the closing speeds between these vehicles can be incredibly fast, and U.S. soldiers don't have much time for escalation of force procedures (EOF).

Fortunately, there we no EOF issues. But given the driving habits of some crazy locals, it won't be long til it happens again.
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