IRAQ – US Army Deploys Less-Lethal Taser Weapons In Iraq (2004-02-19)

Published on February 19 2004 by admin

By Ann Roosevelt

“We can now confirm that they are in-country,” Steve Tuttle, TASER International director of communications, told Defense Daily yesterday.

The Army bought the devices and accessories in late 2003, in a more than $240,000 sale, that is just now being made public.
The weapons fire two small probes at targeted individuals. The probes are connected to the weapon by high-voltage insulated wire. When the probes hit the target, the weapon transmits electrical pulses down the wires and into the target.

“We have worked hard to establish relations with the U.S. Army and this could initiate more military orders throughout the world,” said Tom Smith, president of TASER International in a statement. “We are honored that the U.S. Army has selected our Advanced TASER M26 as an effective military police tool to minimize the risk of injury to suspects and to our military force.”

The sale has aroused the interest of other militaries around the world and several U.S. government agencies, Tuttle said. The Army order came after an urgent need request by U.S. Army Europe to provide a non-lethal capability for its forces in Iraq.

The less-lethal weapons offer soldiers another option against others in an urban environment, for force protection, law enforcement and confinement operation.

The tasers immediately incapacitate an aggressive or violent person.

At a conference in November, officials said military police were using the TASER M26 while guarding prisoners in Iraq to potentially stop prisoner escapes or prevent riots (Defense Daily, Nov. 7). The FY ’04 Defense Appropriations Bill included $1 million specifically to buy Taser weapons.

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