June 22, 2007

About the M-Gator tragedy

One point worth making about the tragic loss of 3 CF personnel in Afghanistan this week, not yet made by those opposed to the media coverage of it:

The M-Gator, used by the Canadian, U.S. and other militaries, has a ground pressure when fully loaded of 8 psi. Human-foot ground pressure is 9-12 psi. So assuming the IED that destroyed the Gator was detonated by a pressure plate or other independent trigger, it likely would have been tripped by personnel walking from point A to B as well. And if it was command-detonated (ie, someone pressed a button to blow it up) it would also have been equally effective against three dismounted troops.

The general in charge has said the vehicle in question was used in part because of the narrowness of the local laneways, which would seem to rule out the use of any larger, better protected vehicle, regardless of their availability. So there may not have been a lot of good choices here, and given those ground pressure figures it at least seems unlikely the personnel would have been any safer walking that day.

Posted by BruceR at 12:14 PM