Special Sub-Topic: So You Want to be a Bomb Disposal Technician
|If you want to be a bomb disposal technician, or BDT, you should know what they do. Which of the following is not a concern of a BDT?|
The movie "Ishtar". "Ishtar", the 1987 movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty, grossed $14 million. It cost $55 million. It is synonymous with "box office bomb." However, real BDT's deal with unexploded artillery shells, dynamite, homemade bombs, grenades, land mines and the like.
|There are a lot of acronyms in the world of a bomb disposal technician. Which of the following is not an acronym used or known in this type of work?|
BDB--big dang bomb. A BDT does EOD on IED's, AKA UXB's. (A bomb disposal technician does explosive ordnance disposal on improvised explosive devices, also known as unexploded bombs.) Calling something a Big Dang Bomb is just unprofessional.
|When you find a bomb, the safest way to disable it may be to shoot it with a jet of water such as the British Army does. What do they call their device for disabling bombs?|
Pigstick. The pigstick is about 19 inches long and is made of metal. It shoots an explosive discharge of water into a bomb to disable it. The British Army came up with the idea in the 1970's as a way to safely dispose of IRA explosive devices. For further safety the pigstick is often mounted on a cart or remote controlled vehicle.
|As a BDT you may encounter a plastic explosive. Plastic explosives are used because they can be shaped and sized for any need. What is the common name of the plastic explosive that is composed primarily of cyclotrimethylene-trinitramine?|
C-4. C-4 stands for Composition 4. Cyclotrimethylene-trinitramine is combined with a binder material to keep the ingredients together, plasticiser to make it malleable, and a marker to help security forces detect the C-4. It is over 30% more explosive than TNT.
|You are called to the local mall. Someone has found a suspicious package behind a garbage can. When you arrive you notice a brown paper sack that appears to contain something roughly square in shape. You also see some wires sticking out the top. As a highly trained and competent bomb disposal technician, what is the first thing you should do?|
Evacuate all persons from the area.. Some time ago a small bag was found in a local airport terminal. There was no nametag on the bag and no one came to claim it. As a precaution, the bag was picked up by a security officer and put through an x-ray machine. The x-ray showed an image of a cylindrical object and a clock. Thinking there could be a homemade bomb in the bag it was taken into a field where police officers shot at it. And shot at it and shot at it. Since his or her ammo was dwindling and the bag failed to explode someone decided to actually open the bag--or what was left of it. Inside they discovered a well-ventilated baby bottle and an alarm clock that had rung its last alarm. Some time later the owner called to see if her baby bag had been found and turned in to lost and found. She was told "yes and no."
Another incident involved a similar image on the x-ray of a person's carry-on bag--cylindrical object, wires leading to it and batteries. Upon interrogation the owner of the bag finally remembered putting her portable reading light in the bag, thus the wires and batteries. What was the cylindrical object? A sausage. I guess she liked to eat while she was reading in bed. The moral of this tale is: if you are traveling by air leave your sausage at home. You can always buy another one after you get to your destination.
In both instances proper protocol was observed and the areas were evacuated.
|It would be a good idea to know what a bomb looks like. You are called again to the mall where yet another suspicious item has been found. Zipping up your BDT coveralls, the ones with your nickname stenciled over the right pocket (and hopefully that nickname isn't "Twitchy"), you rush to the mall to save the day once again. Which of the following would convince you that the item was an improvised explosive device?|
Timer, detonator, battery, explosive. An explosive device has to have some type of explosive in it. That almost goes without saying.
For the device to work there also needs to be a detonator--some type of device like a blasting cap or flash powder that will set off the larger explosive.
There needs to be a trigger. This can be a timer, a remote control receiver or a sensor of some kind. The trigger sets off the detonator.
Finally, a power supply, like a battery, is needed. The power supply runs the timer, if there is one, or sparks the detonator.
The answer "TNT, timer, sensor, battery" does not include a detonator for the TNT. The answer "detonator, battery, fuse, blasting cap" omits the explosive charge. If they were all round black cannonball-looking things with "XX" written on them, bomb disposal would be too easy.
|A new advancement in bomb disposal technology is the use of robots to investigate suspected bombs. What is a disadvantage of using a bomb disposal robot?|
Failure of the remote control system could cause the robot to inadvertently detonate the bomb.. Bomb disposal robots move via tracks that allow them to go up and down stairs and sloping terrain. They also have at least one camera that allows the operator to see where the robot is going and see the device. Some robots also incorporate night vision systems or infrared cameras. Although bomb disposal robots come in many sizes, they are available as small as 17"x23"x12". Generally they are all smaller than a human so they can go anywhere a human BDT could go.
|Occasionally the intrepid bomb disposal technician in Europe will come across an unexploded bomb from WWII. If you believe the bomb to be either British or American, in the absence of any markings on the bomb how can you tell which nation manufactured it?|
The shape of the tail fins.. US bombs had square tail fins. British bombs had round tail fins.
|According to a t-shirt that is popular with bomb disposal technicians, what are you supposed to do if you see a bomb disposal expert running?|
Try to keep up.. Short sleeve, choice of colors, $13.95 + shipping and handling.
|You will need to know how to talk like a bomb disposal technician. What does a BDT call it when he/she has disarmed a bomb?|
Stopped the chain. I hope you did well on this quiz. If you did and you think you might want to become a bomb disposal technician, you might want to ponder these words that may very well have been said by that great bomb disposal instructor, the late Clarence "Three Fingers" O'Toole: "bomb disposal is the science of fiddling with devices made up of unspecified components constructed by unknown individuals with indefinite intent in jerry-rigged manners, armed with insufficient intelligence and inadequate knowledge while utilizing tools of questionable reliability."
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