KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — “These are designed to blow up,” said Albert Bacon, indicating a mine roller mounted to a tactical vehicle.
“They really work,” said Bacon, a field service representative for R4, a contractor supporting Product Manager IED Defeat/Protect Force.
Bacon helps coalition forces in Afghanistan install mine rollers on the front of tactical vehicles. He has traveled across the country providing support to Soldiers and assisting with mine rollers installations.
Product Manager IED Defeat/Protect Force is one of the more than 200 separate programs managed by Program Manager Close Combat Systems. While deployed, PM IED Defeat/Protect Force is supported by the 401st Army Field Support Brigade’s Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Directorate.
The 401st AFSB and its two battalions are part of Army Sustainment Command, Army Materiel Command’s operational arm.
It’s a good piece of equipment,” said Spc. John Rollins, of the 548th Transportation Company. “It does its job.”
That job is detonating improvised explosive devises, or IEDs, before Soldiers drive over them. The rollers are one element in the deadly serious effort to defeat IEDs.
“I feel safer and I know everyone behind me is safer.” said Pfc. Juan Callepiedrahita, also in the 548th.
The current model mine rollers were first fielded by the Army in 2007 to protect Soldiers from IEDs that detonate when their vehicles drive over them. Since then, there have been several adaptations to the mine rollers that allow Soldiers to adjust the equipment without leaving their vehicle.
The rollers also help prevent expensive damage to vehicles that could leave them vulnerable to additional attack.
At the end of the day it’s about saving Soldiers’ lives said Bacon. “Proper use of the rollers saves lives.”