Army

August 9, 2012

IEDs no match for the CREW system

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By Staff Sgt. Joseph Wilbanks

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steven Quast, “Ready First” Electronic Warfare Officer, tests the control box of a CREW system for faults before leaving the rotational unit bivouac area for the training area at the National Training Center August 3, 2012.

One of the most prevalent threats to Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan are improvised explosive devices, and the Army utilizes many strategies to counter them.

The use of body armor and battle drills are common, as well as mine resistant vehicles, but it is the counter radio controlled IED electronic warfare specialist that can stop the explosion before it happens.

Here at the National Training Center the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division “Ready First”, is preparing for their Afghanistan mission using replicated CREW systems to counter simulated IEDs.

The “Ready First” Brigade will face many IED threats during their time here at the NTC, many of which can be countered by the CREW system, preventing them from detonating, said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steven Quast, “Ready First” Brigade electronic warfare officer.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steven Quast, “Ready First” Electronic Warfare Officer, shows a Soldier the correct space needed for the CREW system to function optimally at the rotational unit bivouac area before leaving for the training area at the National Training Center August 3, 2012.

But it’s not just about letting the CREW do the work for them, the EWO team is also educating the Soldiers on how to use the system effectively.

“We placed smart cards in all of the vehicles, and these cover what the CREW system can and can’t do for them, as well as operating instructions,” said Quast. “This allows the Soldiers to more effectively use these vital systems.”

“Not only did we provide days of training to the Soldiers on top of the classes that the NTC holds, but we also installed a record number of CREW systems for a unit at NTC with 393 total,” said Quast.

While at the NTC, all the IEDs will be simulated and the Soldiers will have the opportunity to hold after action reviews and learn from their mistakes. But this invaluable training will instill an operational knowledge of the CREW systems that the “Ready First” will carry with them to Afghanistan which, when employed properly, will help them return home safely.




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