De-Mystifying the IED

November 6, 2012 in Applying The Observations

Why did no one tell me about this? Who had this information and why didn’t my Marines and I get it? This could have saved some of my friends. These are some of the things that were going through my head when I first received my Combat Profiling training, and that broken record still plays in my head today.

Too often Marines have a missing or corrupt file folder on the manufacturing and employment of IEDs.  It surrounds the IED with a cloak of secrecy. If we can demystify the IED we can open our eyes to the clues around us.  This post is going to give you one of the many tools to analyze the threats in your area. It costs nothing and weights nothing, but it can make us more efficient on the battlefield.

I recall a conversation during one of my tours in Iraq when I was seeking knowledge about one of the biggest threats in our AO (Area of Operations.) My Marines were well versed in the basic structure of the IEDs, having dealt with more than a few, but we wanted some more in depth knowledge of how they were actually manufactured. The person that we sought out definitely rated the title of subject matter expert, seeing as his job was to deal with IEDs on a daily basis. We asked the explosives tech questions that ranged from how they were initiated to how the explosives were actually made themselves.

To make a long story short, I started getting into subjects that where apparently above my classification.  Really? Apparently I have enough classification to step on, or drive over said IED’s, but not enough to learn how they’re made. Continue reading »