U.S. Military Fights Rising IED Attacks in Afghanistan

"Very tempting," said Blackmon. "Be careful in this country. They are finding ways to blow us up." A car with tinted windows, a sagging trunk and new tires indicates there may be explosives in the trunk.

Additionally, the insurgents will place a victim-operated pressure plate on the front of the car.

"This is where the driver would hit a coalition vehicle and ignite the explosives in the back of the car," explained Lt. Jeremy Smith, an instructor with Task Force Paladin.

The device was developed once insurgents discovered the military technique of shooting the driver or tires to stop the vehicle.

"The reason they have that there is in case we do kill the driver, and we are successful, they can still use it. They'll ram you and still explode," said Blackmon.

Task Force Paladin Stays One Step Ahead

Insurgents have changed their techniques and tactics and resorted to suicide vehicle-borne IEDs. As a result, Task Force Paladin must stay one step ahead and teach soldiers how to identify the vehicles.

Additionally, Task Force Paladin has compiled a collection of every kind of bomb they have found to make troops aware of what they may be up against. Soldiers walk from one display board to the next and receive a tutorial on how each bomb operates -- from a list of the instruments used to make it to how the circuit is created.

Soldiers also must look out for the instruments that insurgents use to create bombs. It could be war remnants from the Soviet war. Many times it may be the soldiers' personal property.

Paper trash and calling cards must be cut up or burned to prevent insurgents from using the soldier's trash as paper conductors for bombs.

Soldiers also must collect anything insurgents can get a hand on, including ammunition cans and water jugs. Such items are brought back to be properly disposed of.

The task force also has beefed up its technology to detect IEDs. Robots are sent out to check for explosives buried in the ground or hidden in cars. Two camera lenses capture the findings and the surveillance is watched from nearby on a laptop.

Once an IED is found, it is equally important to disarm the device. The Tacbot, one of the military's primary robotic platforms, is a tool used so that bomb disposal technicians do not have to manually approach an IED before its safety is verified. Instead of sending a person to detonate the device, the Tacbot can be manipulated to work the same.

"The robots have taken quite a few for the team," said Army Pfc. Jamie Greene. "We definitely are more willing to give up a robot than a soldier."

Another advanced tool the military is using to combat IEDs are jamming devices, such as one developed by ITT that prevents cell phone-operated IEDs from exploding.

But all this technology is only as good as the young soldiers trained to use it.

"Compared to last year, the number of IEDs have gone up and so have the casualties," Col. Jeffrey Jarkowsky, commander of Task Force Paladin, told ABC News. "But just as the enemy has increased his intensity, we've also increased our intensity to defeat these devices."

With more than 25,000 troops trained so far this year, and nearly 3,200 IEDs discovered in Afghanistan, Task Force Paladin is determined to find the rest.

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