The Air Force’s explosive ordnance disposal airmen have adapted to the changing battle in Iraq, exchanging Humvees for the larger and more protective Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle, or JERRV. MSgt. Bryan Ripple reports that the new vehicles are equipped with the latest in optical cameras and forward looking infrared technology. The JERRV also has room for the EOD robots and the airmen’s 70-pound bomb suits. SrA. Stephen Ohge explains that the new “cutting-edge technologies are paramount to today’s EOD operations outside the wire.” And, the optical systems have enabled the EOD airmen to spot enemy fighters, whose positions they relay to security forces.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.