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Showing posts from March, 2015

The Value of Playing with Explosives

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One of the riskiest things my police SWAT team does is deploy explosives to defeat fortifications. The techniques lay at the intersection of science and art. As such, it's a hyper-specialized field requiring perpetual experimentation and learning. Investigators have built a criminal case for a group of heavily armed bad guys. When the investigators attempt to arrest them at their hideout, the situation turns into a standoff. The SWAT team is called in to assist. Believing the offenders have barricaded the doors, and to avoid an up-close deadly confrontation, the tactical commander decides to use explosives to blast the door from a safe distance. The breacher team approaches, hangs the charge on the door, then retreats to a safe location. KA-BOOM!The door is open! Negotiation for surrender may continue for hours or days. But now there is a safe exit for the bad guys...or entry by the team.Formally known asExplosive Breaching (ExB), these capabilities are reserved for only the most d…