052-192-1269 - Detect Explosive-Hazard Indicators by Visual Means
Visually detect all explosive-hazard indicators in the prescribed area without causing injury to personnel or damage to equipment. Notify the immediate supervisor of any suspected indicators
Conditions: You are given an area (urban or rural) to maneuver in, around, or through in support of a mission or operation containing explosive-hazard indicators.
Standards: Visually detect all explosive-hazard indicators in the prescribed area without causing injury to personnel or damage to equipment. Notify the immediate supervisor of any suspected indicators.
NOTE: Explosive hazards consist of mines, booby traps, unexploded ordnance (UXO), and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). See Task 093-401-5040 for information on identifying and taking immediate actions when dealing with UXO.
WARNING: IEDs AND UXO ARE PREVAILING HAZARDS IN THE CONTEMPORARY OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT. IEDs AND UXO INCLUDE ORDNANCE ITEMS THAT HAVE BEEN FIRED, PROJECTED, DROPPED, OR PLACED IN SUCH A WAY THAT THEY COULD BECOME ARMED AND FUNCTIONAL. WHETHER IN AN AREA BY DESIGN OR ACCIDENT OR DELIBERATELY PLACED, THESE ITEMS HAVE NOT YET FUNCTIONED. WHATEVER THE REASON, IEDs OR UXO POSE THE RISK OF INJURY OR DEATH TO ALL PERSONNEL AND DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION TO EQUIPMENT IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY. ONCE RECOGNIZED, DO NOT APPROACH AN IED OR UXO.
1. Gather information pertaining to explosive hazards that are associated with the area of operations. Get this information from-
a. Leader-disseminated information (operation orders and reports).
b. References (graphic training aids, land mine handbooks, and special publications).
c. Mine or ordnance recognition boards.
d. Intelligence briefings.
2. Recognize explosive-hazard indicators (environmental and deliberate).
NOTE: The only absolute indicators that an explosive hazard is present are if someone visually detects an explosive hazard, a person or vehicle detonates an explosive hazard, or someone witnesses a detonation. Spotting an explosive hazard as an initial indicator is extremely rare and should not be the primary focus of detecting these hazards.
CAUTION: ALWAYS BE ALERT FOR SIGNS OF ANYTHING OUT OF PLACE, UNNATURAL, OR SUSPICIOUS WHEN MANEUVERING IN, AROUND, OR THROUGH AN AREA. IF A POSSIBLE INDICATOR IS SEEN, STOP, ASSESS THE INDICATOR, AND LOOK FOR OTHER INDICATORS TO CONFIRM OR DENY THE POSSIBLE HAZARD BEFORE CONTINUING OR TAKING FURTHER ACTION.
a. Check for any environmental indicators. Look for-
NOTE: With the exception of stake mines and the majority of directional fragmentation mines, most hand or mechanically laid mines are buried. Burying mines disturbs the natural surface of the ground and nature will usually show where this event took place. Unusual erosion, plant growth, or animal casualties may be vital clues that there might be mines, booby traps, IEDs, or UXO present.
(1) Animals (dead or alive) with missing or damaged limbs.
NOTE: Animals can walk several miles before collapsing. Dead animals along a route may also be an indicator of a concealed IED.
(2) Human remains.
(3) Damaged vehicles left on or off the road.
(4) Wilted or dead patches of vegetation.
(5) Circles of lush grass among thin grass.
(6) Overgrown, unattended fields and pastures next to cultivated, used areas.
(7) Trees and bushes not collected for firewood in areas stripped of other vegetation.
(8) Odd features in the ground or patterns that are not normally present in nature.
(9) Unattended vehicles, trailers, or boxes and abandoned military equipment (weapons, ammunition, uniforms, or papers).
CAUTION: THESE INDICATORS MAY REPRESENT AN IED OR BOOBY TRAP. BE ALERT FOR WIRES, DETONATING CORD, OR A SHOCK TUBE RUNNING FROM THESE DEVICES TO THE ROADSIDE. CABLES OR WIRES USED IN COMMAND-DETONATED DEVICES ARE SOMETIMES BURIED. LOOK FOR DISTURBED SOIL IN LINES RUNNING UP TO THE ROAD AND AWAY FROM THE SUSPECTED OR SUSPICIOUS AREAS.
(10) Ground that has been disturbed, to include-
( a) Depressions in the ground (regular or odd spacing).
( b) Raised patches of earth (regular or odd spacing).
(11) Unused paths, routes, or trails.
(12) Debris on or along a route that could conceal an IED or UXO.
(13) Suspicious guard rails and bridge overpasses. Be aware of suspected strike locations or suspicious personnel in the vicinity of these locations.
(14) Indications of road repair (new fill, pavement, patches, ditches, or culverts).
NOTE: There may be signs of single holes or several holes, possibly in some form of a pattern at tactical or key locations.
(15) Potholes in tracks.
(16) Disturbances in previous tire tracks or tracks that stop unexplainably.
(17) Single or multiple craters (look for submunitions).
(18) Unusual or suspicious civilian activity, to include-
( a) Areas avoided by local civilians (pedestrian or vehicular traffic).
( b) Absence of children in the area.
( c) Civilians with video cameras recording ordinary activities or military movements.
(19) Patterns of objects that could be used as a sighting line or concealing wire leads for IEDs.
(20) Mine, explosives, or ordnance crates or packaging.
(21) Patches of new brickwork, plaster, or mud on walls.
(22) Abandoned defensive positions, trenches, and destroyed buildings.
(23) Graffiti on walls or buildings in the local language.
(24) Signs being placed where they were not previously posted.
(25) Abandoned buildings, vehicles, piles of wood, or materials.
CAUTION: BUILDINGS ARE EXCELLENT SITES FOR BOOBY TRAPS. ASSUME THAT ALL UNOCCUPIED BUILDINGS ARE BOOBY-TRAPPED.
(26) Trip wires, strings, or cables.
(27) Evidence of electrical wires, batteries, mousetraps, clothespins, steel tubes, or springs. If detected, additional hazards may be in the general area due to the setup of a deliberate chain reaction (daisy chain) or decoy.
(28) Small shiny metal plates, split lightweight bomb casings, empty cluster bomb canisters, and small parachutes or drogues (funnel-shaped drag chute) from submunitions (all indicators of cluster bomb strikes or scatterable mine attacks). If detected, additional items could be in the local area due to the dud rate of cluster bomb submunitions.
b. Check for any deliberate indicators (improvised or manufactured).
NOTE: Not all armies and fighting organizations mark their minefields and other explosive hazards to the same standards as required by the United States (US) Army. Many local factions, militia, or units will lay mines and mark them in their own way with readily available materials rather than formal markings. These markings are generally used to warn their own troops and local civilians of the presence of mines, booby traps, IEDs, or UXO. Friendly units operating in these environments must gain this local knowledge in order to identify mine markers and explosive-hazard areas.
(1) Check for improvised markings of mines, booby traps, IEDs, and UXO (Figure 052-192-1269-1). Look for-
( a) Rock piles or individual rocks painted red (used by the United Nations [UN], threat army, or local factions as danger area markers).
( b) Different-colored tapes attached to a stick, tree limb, picket, pole, or wall.
( c) Crossed bones, sticks, or twigs.
( d) Graffiti in the local language (a translator or an interpreter may be required) that warns civilians of a possible explosive hazard.
( e) Pieces of both cloth and metal material attached to poles, sticks, or walls.
NOTE: Step 2(1)(b) through (e) are used by various fighting factions and locals to mark the minefield perimeters.
( f) A circle of stones surrounding objects (used by locals to mark individual mines, UXO, and IEDs).
( g) Rows of light-colored stones or stones that are painted white (used by the UN to mark safe lanes and cleared areas; stones are usually in regular patterns and close together).
( h) Red lettering and marks painted on rock faces or building walls.
NOTE: For example, start point (SP), indicating the minefield start point. Internationally recognized humanitarian demining reference markers, such as reference point (RP) and benchmark (BM). Minefields will be within visual distance of these markers.
( i) Burned fields (may indicate UN mine clearance operations).
( j) Wooden posts with red and white tops to delineate ongoing UN minefield clearance operations.
(2) Check for manufactured markings of mines, booby traps, IEDs, and UXO (Figure 052-192-1269-2). Look for-
( a) Red rectangular or triangular signs attached to wire, stakes, posts, or pickets with a written warning on one side.
( b) Signs with a picture of a person being blown up by a mine.
3. Notify the immediate supervisor of any suspected indicators.
Evaluation Preparation: : Provide an area that contains suspected mine, booby trap, UXO, and IED indicators. Provide several types of indicators like those listed in step 2. Record and provide a description of all suspected explosive-hazard indicators and their locations on an evaluation sheet. Observe the soldier’s performance for improper identification that may cause him to miss an indicator within the designated lane.
Brief soldier: Tell the soldier to locate all explosive-hazard indicators within the designated lane.
1. Gathered information pertaining to explosive hazards that were associated with the area of operations.
2. Recognized explosive-hazard indicators.
3. Notified the immediate supervisor of any suspected indicators.
Evaluation Guidance: Score the soldier GO if all measures are passed (P). Score the soldier NO-GO if any measure is failed (F). If the soldier fails any measure, show him how to do it correctly.