Traveling in a convoy, we head out on our route. I am the driver of a RG 31, which is a heavily-armored vehicle designed to withstand a blast from a mine.

Traveling in a convoy, we head out on our route. I am the driver of a RG 31, which is a heavily-armored vehicle designed to withstand a blast from a mine.

After driving for about 25 minutes, I hear over the radio, “All Stop.” This is called over the radio when we find something suspicious, or simply when someone needs for everyone to halt immediately. Our lead vehicle has spotted a possible wire on the side of the road. After an investigation, the site has been called clear and we slowly creep along.

It is several hours later and we have continually been stopping and clearing with no significant activity. As we enter a known area for I.E.D. emplacements, I scan the road while driving.

As we are casually moving along, my sergeant sitting next to me abruptly yells over the headset, “Move move move!”

I push my foot on the pedal as hard as I can and he then tells me to stop. He has spotted a black wire of some sort from his side of the vehicle. After halting the convoy, I turn my vehicle around and slowly ease my vehicle toward where he spotted the wire.

I become very nervous as I approach the area where the wire was spotted. I am completely aware that there could be anything buried in the road in front of me. I have seen many I.E.D.’s detonate and I prefer not to find this one the hard way.

After getting a closer view with the camera, we confirmed a black wire running from under the dirt road to as far as east as we can see. I have no idea how he could have seen the wire, it was very small and difficult to spot, even with the camera.

As we begin to assess the situation, the lead vehicle of our convoy calls out on the radio that he has spotted a wire near his location. At this point, there are possible I.E.D.’s both in front and behind our convoy. I have a very uneasy feeling about me knowing that we are all sandwiched in-between two I.E.D.’s.   

I backed my vehicle off and monitored the radio regarding the situation ahead of us. After tracing the wire they spotted, the lead vehicle calls for the Buffalo to investigate the area. The Buffalo is a special vehicle which looks like an R.V. on steroids.  It is very technologically advanced and has an arm with a fork on the end of it which extends out.

The Buffalo traced the wire to an I.E.D. which was buried in the middle of the road. The Buffalo moved the I.E.D. off to the side of the road and we had our Explosive Ordinance Disposal (E.O.D.) team blow it in place with C4.

After E.O.D. cleared the I.E.D. in front of us, they headed to our location. Unable to locate the I.E.D., they deployed a robot with cameras on it to take a better look.

I sat patiently in my RG and watched the robot creep up to where the wire we found was located. As robot approached the wire I heard an incredible explosion. All I could see before my RG was consumed inside an enormous cloud of dirt was pieces of robot shooting past my RG a million miles an hour.