Everybody needs a way to get to work, and for Navy EOD techs that's the Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle, a 6X6 variant of the Cougar armored fighting vehicle
commonly referred to as an MRAP (MRAP actually refers to a whole family of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles designed to be IED-resistant). The JERRV
is primarily designed to protect the EOD techs inside, but what distinguishes it from the rest of the MRAPs on the ground in Afghanistan is the tool kit it carries.
"When you're talking about taking improvised explosive devices apart, you really don't know what you're coming up against until you get there," says EOD Group 2's technical adviser Richard Graves. "So when you get there you have to have a large toolbox with you."
The biggest toolbox EOD has is the JERRV itself. Aside from being equipped with all the bells and whistles of a combat MRAP--a gyro-stabilized long range binocular camera with night vision and IR sensors, armor protection, a blast-dispersing V-shaped hull, a top-mounted heavy weapons turret, etc--the JERRV is purpose designed to carry all the tools an EOD tech might need to execute a mission. Those can include an array of robots, blast-resistant suits, various conventional handheld tools, metal detectors, detonating cord, and a whole suite of explosive charges for blowing IEDs in place.
"There are quite a few things in that vehicle that make our job a lot easier, but one is just the sheer size," Platoon 342's Chief Petty Officer Groat says. "In a mounted scenario we can bring two or three robots, sometimes four. The JERRV allots us the room for the amount of explosives we carry, which can be quite a bit. And then all the different variants of tools we might possibly end up having to use on any different call. So the sheer space is a definite benefit."
The ability to shrug off powerful explosions doesn't hurt either.