The 612th [Engineer Battalion] has had good success in finding and disarming IEDs in the three months the unit has been deployed here. As of the date of Rumsfeld’s visit, 612th soldiers have identified 75 IEDs, and Swisher’s platoon found a “vehicle-concealed IED.” The unit also has found 16 pieces of unexploded ordnance and 16 “deliberate fakes.”
Army Col. Jim Brooks, commander of 3rd Infantry Division’s Maneuver-Enhancement Brigade, explained that enemy insurgents often plant fake IEDs to study how the coalition forces respond.
“They’re watching our techniques is what we think they’re doing, or trying to delay us while they do something down the road at another point,” Brooks said.
Sometimes the deliberate fakes even sport real initiators or blasting caps, Swisher noted. “(The insurgents) see how we react on site, and they learn what we scan and sometimes to see if we even notice,” he said.
The Buffalo was mentioned previously on MO when it joined the 1088th Engineering Battalion. The Buffalos have been in Iraq for a while now, but they’re really starting to make their presence felt.
The 216th Engineer Battalion is part of the Ohio National Guard.