Experts to talk anti-IED methods at conference

Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization conference Web Site

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The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization said it will hold a three-day conference in April for industry, academia, government laboratories and agencies to discuss major issues in the battle against IEDs, which are the single largest cause of casualties in Iraq.

Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and retired Army Gen. Montgomery Meigs, the organization’s director, will be the keynote speakers at the conference, which runs from April 10 to 12 at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, Va. All conference attendees must possess secret clearances.

The organization said it will also use the conference as a forum to describe gaps in the conflict in Iraq and ways to prepare for future threats. The Defense Department has asked for $4 billion in funding in its fiscal 2008 budget and $2.4 billion in its fiscal 2007 supplemental budget to counter IEDs, which until recently were triggered by radio frequency-based devices, such as garage door openers or cell phones.

Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the United States has determined that Iran is supplying forces battling U.S. units in Iraq with advanced explosive-force projectiles controlled by infrared devices, such as those used on elevator doors.

At the conference, the organization plans to focus on topics including IED triggers and initiators, IED detection and mitigation, and counter-radio-controlled IED electronic warfare systems.

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