FORT KNOX, Ky. – 10th Regiment Advanced Camp Cadets from A and B Companies went through Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (IED) training July 27. IEDs account for 61% of the majority of casualties seen on the battlefield, and are a major threat to the United States Army at home and abroad.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Wayne P. St. Louis spoke to Cadets about the prominent threat that IEDs still are today, as well as how to detect and defend against them. As someone who works for the Global Threat Mitigation Program, St. Louis takes his task seriously and gives Cadets a thorough overview of IED composition and how to identify the dangerous explosives.
“Right now we have many people deploying to many countries. It’s going to be a weapon of choice wherever they’re going,” St. Louis said.
The two acronymys St. Louis to convey the main ideas about IEDs are SPICE and CAGE. When thinking about the different IEDs, St. Louis encouraged to think of SPICE: Switch, Power, Initiator, Container, Explosive. Each word pertains to a different concept of IED composition; switch, for example, refers to how the IED detonates, be it set off by victims through a pressure plate or trip wire, or controlled by opposing forces through a remote.
CAGE pertains to how Cadets can identify areas where they might be hidden: Choke points, Aiming point, Ground signs, Environment. Being able to notice certain markers is important in saving lives when dealing with IEDs.
“You don’t want to find those components before you find where they would put them. Distance is how you stay safe when dealing with IEDs,” he said.
Such training is extremely relevant to Cadets. In the span of an average year, there are more than 4,400 IED events globally outside of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. Such events occur in more than 100 countries, including the U.S. where there are 850 IED events per year. 2.89 people are affected by every IED event and there are more than 5,700 IED casualties annually. The future U.S. Army leaders of 10th Regiment Advanced Camp have been trained to combat this global issue.