IED dogs of war
porters, noting that the infrared sensors are “the backbone of the important mission that we do, that our nation needs to provide that early warning of hostile missile intent and threats around the world for our nation and our allies.”
Gen. Teague said GEO-1 is “so much more sensitive” than other satellites used for missile warning, including the Defense Support Program constellation of ning sensors. It will monitor “missile launches and natural phenomena across the Earth, while the staring sensor will be used to observe smaller areas of interest with enhanced sensitivity,” the company said in a statement. The Pentagon is developing a new dog for the battlefield. This canine will be able to sniff out hard-to-detect, buried improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that are increasingly maiming and killing troops in Afghanistan.
For currently deployed dogs — and electronic sensors — such fertilizer-based homemade explosives are difficult to find.
The Pentagon’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) decided to train its own specialized kennel of sniffers before sending them to war in September.
“The JIEDDO dog program is solely focused on the current threat in Afghanistan to detect homemade explosives off leash,” spokeswoman Irene Smith told special correspondent Rowan Scarborough.
“There are other military working dogs who are trained off a [Defense Department] scent list, allowing them to be deployed around the world. JIEDDO’s dog program is specifically tailored to [Afghanistan] [. . . ] This is a unique capability from the other military working-dogs programs.”
The agency is working with a number of breeds in addition to the ubiquitous, human-friendly Labrador retriever.
“There is a debate on which dog is best for detecting explosives,” Ms. Smith said.
Sending super dogs to Afghanistan is one of several moves JIEDDO is making in response to an increase in the number of pressure-activated IEDS buried around villages by the Taliban to attack Marines and soldiers approaching on foot.