Sunday, November 23, 2003


And his match is wicked.
“The Mad Mortarman” is the nickname some in his unit use for the faceless Iraqi insurgents who have been keeping a steady routine of hit-and-run attacks on the U.S.-led coalition here.

U.S. brass grew so fed up with the attacks that they moved to discourage them by launching Operation Iron Hammer on Nov. 12. They try to learn where the attackers are, then hit them on the spot with artillery, airstrikes, ground troops or some combination of means.

Ritacca operates a radar called the Firefinder, which can do something that might well astonish veterans of Vietnam or earlier wars: It can detect the firing of an enemy mortar, rocket or artillery round, pinpoint its map location, predict where it will land, and even offer a guess as to what type of weapon is involved, all within mere seconds.

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