Mine rollers designed to blow up, save lives

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — “These are designed to blow up,” said Albert Bacon, indi­cat­ing a mine roller mount­ed to a tac­ti­cal vehi­cle.

Albert Bacon, ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tive for R4 a con­trac­tor sup­port­ing Prod­uct Man­ag­er IED Defeat/Protect Force, stands in front of a mine-resis­tant ambush-pro­tect­ed vehi­cle with a mine roller attached to it at AFS­Bn-Kan­da­har. The mine roller is designed to blow up when it rolls over an impro­vised explo­sive device and pre­vent the MRAP from sus­tain­ing dam­age from the IED.
Click to enlarge

“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.”

US Army

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