Story by Spc. Justin Humphreys, 102d Public Affairs Detachment
FORT IRWIN, Calif. – Soldiers with 2d Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment, Kansas Army National Guard installed counter remote controlled improvised explosive devices systems, known as a “Duke”, on their tactical vehicles May 22, 2017 at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California.
Although the 2-137th is a part of the Kansas Army National Guard, the battalion is an essential part of the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi Army National Guard, which is at NTC conducting combat training exercises where scenarios are developed from actual combat experiences.
The Duke system is a vehicle-mounted jamming system that neutralizes frequencies used to detonate remote controlled improvised explosive devices, a common form of attack in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The Duke system is specifically designed to jam RCIEDs, or remote controlled improvised explosive devices,” said Sgt. Luis Hurtado, an electronic warfare specialist with the 2-137th. “Once you jam the receiver, that frequency won’t reach the IED.”
Hurtado is responsible for monitoring an enemy’s electronic frequencies such as cell phone and radio controlled technologies, and advising his commander on countermeasures against the frequencies.
“The job of Electronic Warfare Specialists is to advise the commander on how we can use electronic warfare to complete missions,” said Hurtado.
The system is meant to prevent remote controlled IEDs from detonating, with the goal of saving Soldiers’ lives. Most IEDs are hidden or covered up which puts Soldiers at risk because the devices are sometimes undetectable, making the Soldiers exposed to a possible ambush.
“The point of the system is to protect the Soldiers from those situations in which they’re most vulnerable,” said Hurtado. “The Duke system is going to allow us to avoid RCIEDs.”
The Duke system was chosen as one of the ‘U.S. Army’s Top 10 Greatest Inventions’ in 2005 and 2009 and has reduced the number of RCIEDs detonated, according to SRC Inc.
Using the Dukes for the training at NTC helps Soldiers prevent RCIED detonations by training them to neutralize enemy radio frequencies, as well as troubleshooting if needed.
The NTC rotation allows the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team to maintain combat readiness for future
missions at home or abroad.