Former army bomb disposal expert, Chris Hunter, presents this documentary on bomb-makers and those who hunt them by cataloguing techniques, tactics and technologies. Looking at the history of the Improvised Explosive Device, Chris interviews Christina Schmid, widow of army bomb disposal expert Olaf Schmid who was killed on his final day in the field in Afghanistan.
Chris Hunter has worked in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and lost seven colleagues to IEDs. He said of the experience of working as a bomb disposal expert:
“Rendering safe a terrorist bomb is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable jobs on the planet. It is probably also one of the most gratifying and exciting but it comes at a cost. One minute you’re standing at the cliffs edge, just you and the bomb; the next you’re at home with your wife and kids, trying to come down and be normal again. These are guys who have seen damaged lives and destruction on an unprecedented scale and have experienced an intense and extreme range of emotions on a day to day basis. And if you live on the edge for too long, the chances are eventually you might just go all the way over.”
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are one of the main threats to soldiers working with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The bombs are used to ambush convoys and by suicide attacks on checkpoints. Bomb disposal experts have to work in extreme heat, against the clock and under the threat of snipers. Find out more about their work when “Bomb Hunters” airs in the UK.
Bomb Hunters on Military History will air on Sky Channel 531 & Virgin 236 on Thursday 14th July 2011 at 8pm for UK viewers only.