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Checkpoints / Roadblocks
In 2007, a car was speeding toward a U.S. military patrol in a secure area. The patrol used lasers, flashing vehicle lights, yelling and urgent motioning in a futile attempt to get the driver’s attention. As a last resort, the patrol’s gunners shot three rounds at the car and driver. Two rounds found the hood, but the third round missed the driver and killed a 12 year-old girl riding in the back seat. The driver did not comprehend the patrol was commanding him to stop.
According to a soldier at the scene, “I believe if we would have had the LRAD on our vehicle, we could have used several host nation languages to assist the gunner in getting the driver’s attention. It also would have given our gunner several ways to communicate by voice and tone to go along with the light and laser. The LRAD definitely provides the capability to clearly communicate your intentions and provides soldiers time to evaluate situations and then escalate through their ROE process from a safe distance. If we would have had the LRAD, that outcome of this tragic incident may have been averted.”
U.S. Army, MP Operations
Especially in the context of military police work, the LRAD is useful in its ability to disperse crowds, preventing soldiers from having to use deadly force. This critical warfighting ability reduces the number of casualties and gives soldiers the luxury of only engaging a potential target as a last resort.
“The way I see it is if we can prevent a soldier from pulling a trigger, then it’s a good thing,” said 200th MPC command operations and training officer, Robert Truitt. “There are two aspects when we talk about young soldiers. First, we don’t want them engaging anyone they don’t have to because it could turn on us. But the other aspect is about the soldier — if he engages a target he didn’t have to, he’s going to have to deal with it.
“If we can help keep him from doing that, we’ll help him in the long run,” Truitt continued.
Read Article: New equipment gives Reserve MP Soldiers resources to succeed – US Army.com
The U.S. Army PSYOPS switched to LRAD after having extensive issues with their legacy loudspeaker equipment. When their assigned contractor was unable to fulfill their requirements and after extensive testing, they selected the LRAD 100X for dismounted operations and the LRAD 300X with OGPK mount for vehicle installations. The LRAD systems procurement freed up 4 cubic feet of space inside the vehicles, simplified logistics, vastly improved audio output, and reduced vehicle radar signatures.
“We were involved in situations where Iraqis threw rocks, ran out in front of our convoys, and harassed us at close quarters. In these situations, LRAD’s powerful deterrent tone gets the attention of crowds and then is highly effective in broadcasting warnings and instructions in the host nation language.”
As a result of villager violence, Project Sheriff vehicles were equipped with LRAD 500X systems. Vehicles would roll into a village, play the LRAD warning tone then play messages in host nation languages. Compliance was immediate and repeated as vehicles and convoys entered villages.