Showing posts from March, 2015

The Value of Playing with Explosives

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…