Report: Troops in Iraq dealt friendly-fire laser injuries Stars and Stripes Mideast edition, Wednesday, April 1, 2009 American troops in Iraq are reporting a series of incidents in which servicemembers have been blinded or required medical treatment after friendly-fire laser injuries.

According to an Army news release from Balad, Iraq, one unit in Iraq — the 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) — "has experienced 12 green laser incidents involving 14 soldiers and varying degrees of injury." The release quotes Capt. Russell Harris, a troop commander with 3rd ESC, as saying that soldiers have experienced "temporary blindness, headaches and blurred vision." U.S. troops often use lasers either to target weapons such as rifles, or to "mark" targets that are to be hit by heavier weapons or airstrikes. Lasers have also been used at security checkpoints and in convoys to warn off drivers. According to Wired Magazine’s Danger Room blog, laser injuries are more common when units first deploy and might be the result of inadequate training. While various lasers have been used by troops, some are powerful enough that they have "hazard distances" of around 1,500 meters — that is, can cause eye damage from up to 1 mile away.

Ok, my take, it’s a large case of jack Assery and undisciplined use combined with poor supervision and tasking. With hundreds of uses of the “Dazzler” utilized at vehicle check points to “warn” oncoming traffic of the required stop when they approached at threatening speeds. The Dazzler ( is utilized within the escalation of force for warriors to warn that their semi automatic machine gun is coming next as vehicles approach their area. When used properly “effective range of 400 meters at night and still be eye safe at aperture in all positions of the focus head.” Its when you begin to become complacent, screw off, use tools in ways they weren’t designed is when we begin getting people hurt and more so allowing a gap for the enemy to exploit. It all comes down to leadership. The basics.


  1. I see. That gave me a better understanding of some of our soldier’s weapon. I also think that you’re right! It all comes to down to leadership.
    I just hope and pray that everyone will recover from the injury sooner. =(

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