Small Miracle.

by Daniel Russ on January 24, 2010

Lance Cpl. Ryan T. Mathison Stepped On An Improvised Explosive Device That Failed To Detonate Properly

“In what appears to be a small miracle, an entire group of Marines in Afghanistan narrowly avoided a major explosion when Lance Cpl. Ryan T. Mathison stepped on an improvised explosive device that failed to detonate properly. Mathison, who one of his fellow Marines called a “lucky son of a bitch,” was on foot patrol when he stepped on a hidden IED connected to 25 pounds of explosives that would have likely killed or injured the entire group. “If that IED had worked like it was supposed to? Bye-bye, sweetheart,” said the staff sergeant later called into dismantle the device. As the conflict in Afghanistan continues, these types of explosives are growing larger and more sophisticated, but in this case the botched explosion did little more than send a few small rocks flying through the air. “We’re all lucky, man,” said Mathison. “That would have hurt us all.”

Source: NYT


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Corsair8X January 29, 2010 at 2:40 am

As I’ve stated before. The marines are actually doing foot patrols where the army did not as much. As a result, the triggers for IEDs must have their sensitivities adjusted so that human weight will set them off. This increases the chances that a civilian will set them off instead. Such civilian casualties will begin to once again turn their favour against the insurgents as was happening a couple years ago.

Not really the Marine strategy, but it does hamstring the insurgents efforts to only inflict coalition casualties so as not to turn the populace as happened in Iraq.

Daniel Russ January 29, 2010 at 8:14 am

I think the problem is the terrain. It’s so hard to get an MRAP onto a road in Afghanistan when there are so few roads

Corsair8x January 29, 2010 at 8:53 pm

No. The walking about is a direct change in strategy. This is typical in Army vs. Marines. You even saw this in Ramadi in 2004. The Army did not really do the foot patrols that the Marines did. And now, too often the Army was criticized for whipping around in their vehicles. Now that the Marines have arrived, their are real, honest foot patrols. As a result, IEDs set in the roads had to be either remote detonated or use heavy pressure triggers (vehicle weight setting them off). Nice when you don’t want to blow up the people that surround you who could rat you out. Now, with foot patrols, you have to resort to the small detonators again – tripwires, light pressure triggers. This is a strategic change. Not a change from leaders on high who have seen any kind of light – but a change in doctrine that has always been there. Marines get right into the populace, walk around them, meet and greet. You can read about that strategy in the book Joker One by Donovan Campbell.

Daniel Russ January 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Point taken

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