During the nearly two decades of war in Iraq and Afghanistan improvised explosive devices have been one of the main threats U.S. troops have faced.
The devices were easily hidden along roads and routes frequented by deployed forces who had limited means of identifying them, often left to look for disturbed earth or other markers giving away the hidden devices or wires.
As of September, all explosive ordnance disposal Marines have been supplied with the Buried Command Wire Detector, designed to locate command detonation wires, the Marine Corps said in a news release on DVIDS.
The new detector has a one-piece folding design, comes with long-lasting batteries, does not require manual calibration before use and can detect a command wires of “various types and diameters," the release said.
"The Buried Command Wire Detector has more sensors than the previous system,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Kenyon, project officer for Bridging, M9 Armored Combat Earthmover and Family of Engineer Construction Tool Kit at Marine Corps Systems Command, in the release.
“The new device can detect wire and conductive material better," he added.
The Corps has had other tools capable of detecting IEDs but the new tool is “a major improvement,” Manny Pacheco, a spokesman with Marine Corps Systems Command, told Marine Corps Times in an email.
So far only EOD Marines have been given the detector, but the Corps said the plan is to supply combat engineers, infantrymen, military police, artillery Marines and light anti-aircraft defense, with the detector later in fiscal year 2020.