Moody tests new life saving technology - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Moody tests new life saving technology

January 24, 2007

Moody Air Force Base - US troops are being deployed into war zones where there are no clear battle lines and combatants often hide among the innocent.

So they take precautionary steps to avoid the loss of innocent lives.  "You always want to talk to people first and try to use non-verbal technic, then verbal, and then climb that latter until you use deadly force," says Col. John Decknick, Commander of the 820th Security Forces.

Airmen at Moody Air Force Base are testing a new non-lethal weapon to help in these situations.  "This is a transformational technology that gives the war fighter an option of shooting an M-16 lethally or pushing the fighter back," says Col Ken Hasegawa, Commander of the 642nd Electronic System Squadron.

It's called the the Active Denial System and is the first non-lethal, directed energy, counter-personnel weapon developed by the Department of Defense.

Drivers use infrared cameras to focus and control beam millimeter waves that when targeted toward an enemy, will penetrate the top layer skin without causing injury.  "It provides a compelling heating sensation if it's against a targeted individual and they are going to immediately know that they've been given a warning to stop what they are doing," says Susan Levine of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program.

The idea is that the heat wave will help deter combatants without killing them.

And Team Moody has no doubt the weapon would help with their security operations overseas.  "It will help with all of our missions. Having this capability, this tool in our tool box for whatever mission we're going to go, we're glad to bring it with us," Col. Decknick adds.

They ADS is still years away from production and DOD officials estimate it will cost millions of dollars each by the time they are ready to deploy.

Moody will continue testing the weapon until September.

The Department of Defense will use Moody's feedback to improve the system and make it compatible for use on land, air, and sea.

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