Soldiers in Afghanistan sick from jammers
Belgian soldiers in Afghanistan complain of nausea and headaches from ill-fitted equipment used to jam radiowaves that detonate bombs.28 August 2008
AFGHANISTAN -- Belgian soldiers in Afghanistan complain of nausea and headaches from the equipment used to jam radiowaves that detonate bombs.
The equipment is used to jam the radio waves which the Taliban often use to detonate roadside bombs from a distance.
The radiation from the jammers however is apparently giving Belgian soldiers headaches and making them feel nauseous.
"It's mostly the people outside the tanks- the driver, the shooter or the commander, that get sick," explains Manu Jacob from an armed forces trade union. "They often come back from missions with enormous headaches and feeling nauseous."
Two soldiers are officially on sick leave. The trade unions demand further investigation into the affair.
According to defence department spokeswoman Ingrid Baeck, the Belgian tanks are outfitted with American jammers. “The Belgian defence department is working on jammers that are more suited for the Belgian tanks," says the spokeswoman.
Meanwhile, Baeck said the soldiers will have to put up with the situation.
"We have no choice - we need to protect ourselves from roadside bombs. They are dangerous and they can kill. Taking the jammers away is not an option."
[flandersnews.be / Expatica]