Monday, June 20, 2011

Freedom Fighter's Field Manual for Booby Traps (IED, UXO, & Mines) - version 3.0


Freedom Fighter's Field Manual for Booby Traps(IED, UXO, & Mines)

Working version 3.0





This manual serves as a reference for the Libyan Freedom Fighters to identify and defeat Improvised Explosion Devices (IEDs) Booby traps, and Unexploded Ordinances (UXOs) that have been deployed by pro-Gaddafi forces. Take time to review the information in this guide and incorporate the tactics into everyday operations to increase your, other Freedom Fighters, and civilian's safety.

IEDs, landmines, & booby traps being deployed by Gaddafi forces include parachuted deployed Chinese Type 84 mines, booby trapped cars, anti-personnel mines, and anti-vehicle mines. Each section will include ways to identify the several types of ordinances found in Libya. If you are unfamiliar with landmines, this manual will not replace genuine experience - Report all IEDs and clearly mark the location. Mines are nasty, because they are engineered to be nasty. Unless you know exactly what you are looking at and how to deal with it, stay away!

UXOs (Unexploded ordnance) are munitions that did not explode when fired and still pose a risk of exploding. Different types of UXOs include, but not limited to; tank shells, sub-components of cluster munitions, GRAD rockets, etc.. Note that the longer a UXO remains in the field, the more sensitive the trigger for detonation may become.




General Precautions for IED Identification.

  • By definition, booby traps are disguised & well-hidden, commonly using the victim's interactions to activate the devices.... Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Successful IED defeat begins with understanding the enemy & their tactics (Gaddafi forces).
  • A primary location for mines is along side roadways, usually within 3 meters of the shoulder.
  • Potential sites for booby traps & mines include but are not limited to: Frequently traveled, predictable routes, abandoned structures and areas surrounding a prior enemy position, animal carcasses and human bodies(potentially manikins), unattended vehicles, previous booby trap sites if Gaddafi's forces have been back into an area, and recently disturbed spots on the ground/ piles of debris.
  • Be prepared to implement alternative routes if a mine field or booby trapped vehicle is found.
  • Camouflage: Of the mines deployed so far, only the Type 84 parachute deployed mine is not painted to camouflage into the surrounding dessert. Both anti-personnel mines and anti-vehicle mines have been found painted with a khaki color.
  • It can be expected that the presence of an anti-vehicle mine will be in conjunction with anti-personnel mines, and vise versa.
  • Each mine has a different method to safely clear, identification of munition is key; Some mines are vulnerable & can be destroyed with a rifle, while other mines (Like Type 72) are very resilient to destructive countermeasures.
  • The population of an area where IEDs are present need to be aware of the dangers, Freedom Fighters should rope & flag IED location, talk with local population & raise awareness by handing out the posters/ flyers.
  • Remember not to touch a mine, work slowly and carefully not to shift the ground, remove all metal objects on you before approaching a mine to prevent change in the magnetic field.
  • The primary two methods to handle mines are shooting it or closing off the area for an expert to remove.
  • If planning on exploding an ordinance, try to surround it with materials to dampen explosion; sandbags, concrete, old tires, but whatever is used - be very careful not to disturb mine.
  • Keep records of locations of found IEDs.
  • Error on the side of safety, always. (Don't use landmines as explosives for fishing)
  • The most common mines encountered are the Type 72SP anti-tank mines & the T-AB-1 Anti-personnel mines – This Guide's sections on those two mines should be carefully reviewed.

    Chinese made Type 84 Model A mines
    Mine Information
    The Chinese scatterable anti-tank mine is usually deployed by 122 mm rocket launchers. The mine consists of a cylindrical body with three prong legs that form a spike. If the mine strikes soft ground, the spike is driven into the ground and the mine is held upright. These mines drop with the assistance of a parachute, if they do not stick into the ground, the Type 84 is still equipped with multiple anti-handling devices. Primary, the Type 84 mines found in Misrata are equipped with a magnetic detecting fuze, which can explode the mine if a magnetic object passes through it's immediate environment. This change can be the result of a vehicle passing over it or a person approaching. The standard weight triggered fuze still are incorporated into the Type 84. Many of these mines are also equipped with a time delay fuze that will cause mines to self destruct, which requires quick identification & formation of a perimeter. The Type 84 mine can be deployed from a few miles by the 122mm rocket launchers.

    Mine Identification
    The Type 84 mine is fairly easy to identify as the Green shroud will be as identifiable as the green of Gaddafi's flag. These mines may also be covered by the forest green camouflage parachute.

    Mine Disposal
    The best way to destroy the Chinese Type 84 mine once identified, is to first create a safe perimeter, then shoot the munition with a rifle. The munition may take more than one bullet to trigger detonation. Do not attempt to remove mine by hand; if there is no ammo or firearms near by, a rope can be attached to a piece of metal. Drop the piece of metal to one side of the Type 84 such that the rope can safely be walked around the munition, the piece of metal can then be drug into the Type 84 – Destroying it. (see below)




    PRB-M3A1 Anti-Tank Landmine

    Mine Information


    The PRB-M3A1 is a plastic, weight triggered push-plate mine anti-tank/ anti-personnel mines that are effective and damaging. These mines are waterproof and can be deployed with a M30 anti-handling device. The fuze of the PRB-M3A1 is very sensitive as is its initiating charge, the weight of a person may trigger the munition to explode.



    Mine Identification

    The PRB-M3A1 mine is unfortunately difficult to detect. These mines can be buried underneath a thin layer of dirt or placed underneath debris. Moreover the mostly plastic components make detection with a metal detector nearly impossible. If the Anti-handling device is rigged, the M30 detonates the mine if it is lifted more than 3 cm off the ground. The best way to locate the mine is on ones hands and knees, digging out the dirt around the mine once found. Note that the PRB-M3A1 has not been found with the M30 anti-handling fuze attached in Libya & that the PRB-M3A1 has only been found around Ajdabiya.

    Mine Disposal

    Once identified, the PRB-M3A1 should be checked for any anti-handling fuzes that maybe attached. This process's complexity maybe compounded by the deployment of multiple fuzes/ mines. If no anti-handling device is located, the mine can be lifted from its location and placed aside for later detonation. If an anti-handling device(s) is connected, it is recommended that only someone experienced with the ordinance disarm mine. If detonation is required, a relatively large perimeter should be formed (50 meters) as other PRB-M3A1's can be set of by the percussion of a nearby explosion. The location of the mine also needs to be marked (roped off or flagged), and recorded.

    Type-72SP Anti-Tank Landmine



    Mine Information


    The Type 72SP may be the most frequently encountered landmine in the world. These anti-tank mines are metallic & can be located with a metal detector. The Type 72's also have a high threshold (+300 Kg) for the weight triggered fuze, which is designed to not be set off by the weight of a human. The Type 72SP was designed to destroy tanks, and it does the job well. The mine, if triggered, can cripple many a vehicle with massive isolated damage.

    Mine Identification

    The common shape and metallic casing makes these mines more identifiable than the more modern PRB-M3. Again, look for dirt that had been recently disturbed or suspicious rubble piles on the side of the road. If a metal detector is available, it can be used to locate the Type 72SP but BEWARE: The Type 72 anti-tank mines are frequently seen surrounded by the T-AB-1 anti-personnel mines (see next section)

    Mine Disposal

    The Type 72 is highly resistant to all forms of explosive countermeasures. The Anti-handling devices can potentially be very complex & hidden. It is recommended that the area be clearly marked & reported for future despoil (if there location is isolated).

    The Type 72SP is extremely resilient to explosive disposal methods. The mine should be manually removed from it's resting place once it's determined to be free of anti-handling devices. To disarm the Type 72SP; unscrew the top mounted rigid plate/ fuze (Diagram below illustrates location of the fuze). The detonator can also be unscrewed from the mine but doing so is not recommended for anyone without prior experience of the mine. Disarming the Type 72 by simply removing the threaded fuze plate is an acceptable render safe procedure, they can then be safely gathered.

    (Below is a diagram of possible anti-handling devices that must be checked prior to defusing) 

    Anti-Handling Devices Possibly Deployed with PRB-M3A1 & Type 72 Anti-Tank Mines


    Fuze Location on the Type 72SP 





    T-AB-1 Anti-personnel Mine

    Mine Information




    The T-AB-1 anti-personnel mine is a very small, weight triggered, plastic mine. There is a single fuze, which looks much like a plastic cap, that activates the device. The T-AB-1 mines used in Libya are painted with a khaki/ desert-matching color. In addition to the threat posed as an anti-handling device, the mine can disable vehicles the size of a lorry by shredding a tire with it's blast. In addition, the T-AB-1 anti-personnel mines can potentially cause mechanical damage on civilian vehicles, rendering them inoperable.

    Mine Identification

    These tiny mines(only 60mm top to bottom) are incredibly difficult to locate. They will not set off a metal detector in the field and can be set of by the weight of a small child (Fuze sensitive to 18kg). The mine is waterproof and shock resistant; it can be remained armed even if deployed in salt water. The best way to identify the mine is on ones hands and knees. This requires a slow, diligent, & well marked/ documented identification process. Look for dirt that appears recently disturbed. It is common for more than one mine to be placed in a single location, make sure no other mines are present once one mine is found.

    Mine Removal

    The T-AB-1 once located, can be picked up with ones hands. The location it was found should be marked & recorded. The T-AB-1 anti-personnel mines that have been found should be gathered together (they can be gathered with fuze still in place, but removing the fuze of the T-AB-1 once is found is recommended).

    Removal of the fuze simply requires the removal of the plastic cap (fuze) which can be unscrewed from the mine. Once gathered, two options exist for Freedom Fighter field commanders with the T-AB-1. The first is a controlled detonation of all T-AB-1. The second involves the removal of the firing mechanism to the T-AB-1 by an qualified expert, allowing for the potential reuse of the T-AB-1 as a replacement for hand grenades. The anti-personnel mines should not be redeployed with detonator still attached. De-miners should keep an accurate record of all mines found as well as of their final use.


    NR-442 Anti-Personnel Mine


    Mine Information

    The NR 442 mine is a bounding type anti-personnel mine that, once triggered, will jump 0.95 of a meter high before detonating. The mine consists of three main parts: The spring-loaded fuze, the outer container that hurdles the mine up into the air, and the machined steel lower flange. Upon being triggered, the mine propels itself into the air, the wire connecting the base to the mine stretches out, which is attached to a firing pin. When extended, the firing pin is pulled, triggering the mine to detonate. Note: the mines found so far date back to 1981 & come from a military camp - They have not been found in the field as of yet. On top of the mine are two plugs; the large plug is used for casting the (0.56 kg) TNT main charge and placement of a penthrite (pink) booster charges, the small one is used for the detonator.


    Mine Identification

    The NR 442 anti-personnel mine is going to be primarily found buried with only the (Nr. 2110) pressure, tilt and rotation sensitive fuze exposed. The mine is best detected by a metal detector, but de-miner must make sure not to touch fuze with metal detector. Also look for disturbed dirt or piles of rubble which may reveal location of a recently buried mine.

    Mine Removal

    Once the NR 442 is identified, it's location should be clearly marked & reported. These mine have sensitive fuzes but do not come with anti-handling devices. While one can dug around the NR 442 with ones hands (taking great care not to touch the fuze) & remove mine from it's location. It is recommended that the munitions be destroyed with a rifle once a safe perimeter of 50 meters is created. The marksman can get as close as 25 meters to the NR 442 mine as the fuze should take approximately 4 seconds to detonate munition once triggered. Once the shooter has found solid cover, they should aim for the exposed fuze – The shooter needs to take cover once fuze is hit. The mines can also be collected for controlled detonation at a later date or destroyed with a piece of metal on a rope which can be drug into the NR 442.






    Booby Trapped Cars/ Vehicle-based IED
    Bomb Information
    Car bombs are an Improvised Explosive Device that acts as its own delivery system, carrying a relatively large amount of explosives with little suspicion. The extent of damage caused by an IED depends on its size, construction, placement, and whether it incorporates a high explosive or propellant. Reports are that Gaddafi has armed anywhere between 300 and 800 civilian cars with IEDs. Caution: In cases outside of Libya, car bombs have been hooked up with anti-handling devices.

    Booby Trap Indicators
    Vehicle-based IEDs can be placed in, on, or under many different types of vehicles. The primary indication of an IED will be a change in the environment, bellow are some possible indicators of a vehicle-based booby trap:
    • Noticeably fewer people or vehicles in a normally busy area.
    • Markers by the side of the road, such as tires, rock piles, ribbon, graffiti, etc., that may identify an IED location to the party that planted it. (be weary of the Green of Gaddafi's flag.)
    • Obstacles in the roadways; such as dirt piles, construction, dead animals or bodies, trash, etc..
    • Vehicles that are parked close to buildings or checkpoints, or are parked away from other cars.
    • A vehicle that looked to be apart of a convoy but pulled away and parked.
    • Parked vehicles that have their suspension compressed signify a potential vehicle-based IED.




    Render Safe Procedure
    Once a vehicle has been identified as potentially being a vehicle-based IED, the disposal process begins. As each vehicle-based IED is wired using different types of munitions, fuzes, number of fuzes, the booby traps integration into vehicle(mounted or wired into car), and size of payload. Ordnance detonations may be preformed using any type of explosive ordinance. If possible, by setting off a precise controlled explosion will cause the vehicle-based IED to detonate in a way that is less damaging than if the car bomb were to detonate as Gaddafi's men intended. The best method is to have anyone experienced with similar ordinances form a team once bomb types are identified.

    Preventing Gaddafi From Planting Vehicle-based IEDs
    The best way to protect against booby trapped vehicles is to prevent them from being planted. This involves search points located as far from civilian populations as possible. Searches should involve extensively checking the trunk, undercarriage, cargo, & bonnet of vehicles traveling into cities & towns. General questioning of the driver and occupants is recommended.


    Unexploded Ordinances
    Identification of UXO
    UXO, short for Unexploded Ordinance, are explosive remnants of war consisting of GRAD rockets, tank shells, mortars, illumination munitions, white phosphorus, & sub-munitions of cluster bombs. While most explosive ordinances can be removed by hand once identified(as seen above), the area should be clearly marked & reported to the local ordinance expert/ de-mine team to carry out identification & render safe procedure. A safe perimeter of at least 60 meters should be clearly marked.

    UXO Information & Disposal
    The sub-munitions of cluster bombs found have been sensitive enough to be triggered if picked up, removal by hand is not recommended (see section on cluster bombs below). White phosphorus is ignited by oxygen & accelerated by sun light. A chunk of white phosphorus may appear to be completely harmless and depleted, but disturbing it may re-ignite it – use caution. Note: white phosphorus is extremely poisonous if the smoke is inhaled. Other munitions found such as unexploded tank shells, GRAD rockets, illumination ordinances, etc. should be cleared by the on sight expert before being removed & placed for controlled detonation.
    A Controlled detonation of UXO consists of digging a pit roughly a meter deep & carefully piling the ordinances atop of one another then triggering their detonation once clearance team locates all munitions. After an area is cleared the location should be marked and the location recorded.







    Cluster Bomb Sub-Munitions
    Cluster sub-munitions found so far come from a MAT-120 120mm mortar. This munition can be fired from as far as 4 miles carrying a package of 21 of these sub-munitions (See right). While some claim that these ordinances are made not to explode after a certain amount of time, several have detonated once disturbed in Libya. The MAT sub-munition should be treated as a live mine, which requires the recording of the location, the forming a safe perimeter(50 meters), and finally to shoot the munition with a rifle; triggering it to detonate.





    4 comments:

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    2. thank u very much keep thr good work ... libyan medice

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    3. Thanks, the informations has helped our field engineering squadron (no.17),now they are working at bo-hadi and still part of us between albrega and ras-lanouf.
      Thank you.
      Eng. Naeim Almusmari
      member of the squadron 17

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