Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sixth Sense for Bombs

Very interesting article here (the video is only remotely related to the subject of the story) regarding the best method to detect IED's hidden in the road or along a trail, ye ole Mark 1 Eye Ball Detecting Group, oh and someone with background on how to use them. The article goes on to say that researchers have determined that Marines (and Soldiers too, but the research was done using Marines) with a background in hunting or in urban life are best at detecting hidden threats in the AF and Iraq.

In the first case, the young man uses his hunting skill to identify minute disturbances in the terrain ahead. In the second case, growing up in gang infected urban settings gives the Marine skills in using his peripheral vision for detecting threats that would be missed by those that spent their youth on Video Games. These tended to have a kind of tunnel vision and needed some training in learning how to use their peripheral vision.

The best troops were the ones who grew up in the rural areas; one unit in particular was the South Carolina National Guard unit. "They just seemed to pick up things much better, they know how to look at the entire environment." Said Army Sgt. Maj. Todd Burnett, the top enlisted man with the Pentagon-based Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization.

Its worth a read.

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Buck said...

I saw a short blurb on this phenomenon... i.e., heightened situational awareness in some troops... on teevee recently, probably sometime in the last month or two. The piece I saw was theorizing about minute visual cues and an intimate familiarity with the environment from previous patrols and such. Fascinating stuff.

JimmyT said...

Buck, it is an interesting field of study, I wonder how they came upon it in the first place. You know the notion that some people may be better at this activity than others. I wish now I had taken the boys out deer hunting while they were growing up or down to those mean streets of Philly for some neighborhood patrols, just to tweak their vision. Hopefully the many years of playing ice hockey, the fastest scholastic sport around has its benefits, unknown right now, till someone studies that!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Bag Blog said...

I would think right-brained people would be better at noticing the details - just a theory.

JimmyT said...

Lou, you know I thought the same thing, but I think it goes farther that that, something about processing I guess. Not sure. And there is the Marine thing too, what side of the brain compels one to join?

BT: Jimmy T sends.