French Army Tests Counter-IED Device in Afghanistan
On 26 November, the French Command and Support Battalion (BCS) carried out its first resupply convoy between Kabul and Nijrab, in the Kapisa valley, using the LEMIR device. Eighteen LEMIR systems (Leurre Massique mécanique InfraRouge) are deployed in the Afghan theater with French forces operating as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
LEMIR is a counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) and counter-mine device which will detonate explosive devices that are activated by pressure, trip-wire or heat sources. Particularly flexible, it comes in the form of kits with adjustable length and width to fit all types of vehicles, of foreign or French design. It is fitted over the front of the vehicle to trigger explosive devices well forward of the vehicle, ensuring there are no adverse effects on the vehicle or on its personnel.
Before carrying out this first mission, drivers followed a week of driving training, by day and by night, to familiarize themselves with this new system and its capabilities.
The logistics convoy consisting of 12 VAB wheeled armored vehicles and six armored trucks took to the road equipped with this device to carry out its operational validation.
Very flexible, LEMIR does not interfere with the steering, and is allows great fluidity for drivers. It is used for all convoys and for high-risk missions entailing off-road travel, which are potentially the most dangerous because offering most opportunities to hide mines and IEDs.
The kits are installed on the VAB and BUFFALO, which are distributed throughout the French area of operations in Afghanistan. There are three LEMIR for each Groupement Tactique Interarmes (GTIA, or combined battle group) within the Task Force La Fayette in the Kapisa and Surobi valleys. Six additional LEMIR are provided to the Operational Liaison Monitoring Teams deployed in the French area of responsibility, and three are held in reserve.
The LEMIR is a complementary system to aid the opening of route, reducing risk for troops. It allows greater freedom of movement necessary for our security missions and development aid.
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