Thursday, 7 July 2016

Anthony Tata - The Work of the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency

Anthony Tata knows a thing or two about soldier safety issues. As a combat veteran himself and the former Deputy for Operations in the U.S. military organization called Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency, he saw first-hand how much effort it takes to reduce the threats military men and women had to face on a daily basis. What makes these IED threats so dangerous is a complicated issue of course.

The first reason is the sheer number of IED’s in Iraq and Afghanistan. The other factor is the nature of these extremely dangerous devices. Their unconventional construction often makes them harder to spot, and of course the disarming process can also be problematic or sometimes borderline impossible. This is not because these devices are sophisticated, it is actually the opposite.

Here, you don’t see blue, green and red cables, nor there are switches in the vast majority of cases. These bombs usually consist of an artillery shell and a single wire. They are designed to detonate when a soldier or a vehicle goes by. As a result, the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency made sure that the plan was to reduce the number of those deadly devices by attacking enemy bomb making networks and cells and better protecting deployed troops.

The idea was to significantly reduce the number of these devices during the late 2000’s. This not only happened, but the result of the joint effort was a 70% decrease. The organization – including Anthony Tata – deserved a lot of credit for this work, being able to lower the combat associated risks for themselves and their fellow soldiers in Iraq.