NATO clamps down on IED threat at Kandahar

High-tech devices help secure one of Afghanistan's busiest entry control points

One of the busiest entry control points in Afghanistan is being fortified by the installation of new counter improvised-explosive devices (C-IED) designed to detect dangerous materials.

The C-IED have been instituted at a new control entry point NATO’s Kandahar air base, located in southern Afghanistan. It’s expected to become one of the most heavily traversed entry control points in the country, according to NATO.

Kandahar base is home to roughly 25,000 allied forces and about the size of London’s Heathrow Airport, according to the BBC. The flurry of activity there makes it one of the busiest parts of the country – and one of the biggest targets for insurgents.

State-of-the-art C-IED infrastructure will “significantly boost the Alliance’s ability to supply the base,” NATO said in a report on the new technology. The new devices at Kandahar will detect for explosives, weapons and radioactive materials in both vehicles and people.

According to NATO, C-IED features technologies such as:

  • Vehicle scanners for vehicle-borne IEDs, weapons and radioactive materials.
  • Pedestrian screening sensors for potential suicide bombers. 
  • Arch metal detectors for additional pedestrian screening.

The system, developed and implemented by NATO’s Consultation, Command and Control Agency, delivers the highest throughput of all International Security Assistance Force entry control points, and screens hundreds of vehicles daily, NATO said.

NATO also stressed the importance of maintaining quick, seamless logistics with C-IED. That means uninterrupted transfer of the three millions pounds of food and 30 million pounds of water consumed at Kandahar base every month, as TIME reported in July. The Kandahar airstrip sees 5,000-plus military and commercial takeoffs and landings a week, making it one of the busiest bases in the world, if not the busiest. The security perimeter of the base is 10 miles long and growing, according to the report.

Located near the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar city, it’s also a common target of insurgent attacks, including one as recently as Aug. 3.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering military networks for Defense Systems.

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