Tuesday, August 26, 2008

IED's and EFP's

An intel specialist from the National Ground Intelligence Center delivered a marvelous class on roadside bombs, known in the Army as IED's (Improvised Explosive Devices). A host of colorful charts and visual aids held the younger soldiers in rapt attention. IED's are the number one cause of American casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. I witnessed several IED incidents in 2005/2006, none of which impacted my vehicle directly.

Even scarier for all soldiers, old and new, are the new high-velocity shaped-charge IED's currently in use against the coalition forces. Known as EFP's (Explosively Formed Projectiles), these cylindrical bombs require a precisely stamped & formed copper plate. The copper plate gets transformed into an incredibly high-speed slug after detonation (up to 8500 ft/sec, compare that to an M16 bullet (3200 ft/sec) or a .45 bullet (850 ft/sec)) that will punch through any type of armored vehicle in existence, tearing up anything in its path.

This was a Classified briefing, so we're not supposed to say who is providing these high-tech copper plates to the Shi'a insurgents (-cough-...IRAN...-cough-). But I can say this: there are no apple fritters in Iraq.

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