Geophysicists search Afghanistan for tunnels
Soldiers are always thinking of what the enemy might do and thinking of ways to outsmart them. A tunnel detection team is making the rounds throughout the Warhorse area of operation in Kandahar province to take away a method the enemy might consider.
“We are helping to keep the camp safe,” said Steven Sloan, a research geophysicist for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss. “We make sure nobody is coming into the camp using underground avenues that normally wouldn’t be seen and wouldn’t be monitored. We check smaller isolated areas - usually areas of interests and perimeters.”
The detection procedure is time consuming but helpful.
“It’s a slow going process,” said Owen Metheny, a field engineer for ERDC. “We cover about 600 meters in four to five hours.”
The researchers do a lot of traveling for their job.
“We travel to different regional commands and help out in the battle spaces of different military branches,” Sloan said. “We use geophysical techniques to look for anomalies underground. We look for things that stick out as abnormal that might indicate that there is a void or something else of interest. As we work our way through an area we look for how things change from spot to spot.”
“I really enjoy my job,” Metheny said. “I’m doing something for my country and helping keep people safe. Plus where else could a bunch of civilians get to come to Afghanistan and look for tunnels.”
Article by Spc. April York, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division