Tactical

This is how Marines set up 'vehicle checkpoints' in enemy territory

In many Hollywood war movies, directors film scenes where terrorists barrel down the street and aim their speeding vehicles at ground troops in hopes of killing as many as possible. But instead, the ground forces open fire on the incoming car or truck and eventually score a kill shot.


Well, that's not too far from reality — sh*t happens.

The enemy will do just about anything to transport weapons, militia, and sensitive information any way they can — so setting up a proper vehicle checkpoint is crucial.

Related: 6 reasons why it's not a good idea to attack a Marine FOB

So check out how Marines set up their vehicle checkpoints while in enemy territory

Set up an overwatch position

Marines hardly stay in a prolonged position of any type without having an extra set of eyeballs stationed on the high ground watching over their brother-in-arms down below. This overwatch position helps to spot any potentially dangerous activities well before it gets to their boys.

This Marine watches for enemy activity from an overwatch position.

Strength in numbers

Typically, infantry Marines rarely leave the wire to conduct static checkpoints without having enough eyes to see in all directions. Being deployed in a country where the majority of the population hates you, it's a good idea to have as many "trigger pullers" as possible on deck — you never know when sh*t is going to pop off.

These Marines stand close by one another as they conduct a vehicle checkpoint in Afghanistan. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

The serpentine

Since the enemy has been known to mow pedestrians down in the street, allied forces can quickly lay down concertina wire to form a serpentine style obstacle course intended to slow vehicles down before entering the checkpoint.

The classic serpentine obstacle.

If the vehicles fail to stop and drive over the concertina wire, the strong metallic coil wraps around the tires and aisles, rendering the car useless.

Also Read: 14 images that humorously recall your first firefight

Stopping the vehicles

The ground troops usually speak — or carry stop signs — in the native language, signaling to the potential bad guys to halt when they draw closer. Once they do come to a complete stop, the Marines will allow all the passengers to step out as they search for illegal materials.

Marine conduct a vehicle checkpoint while in Afghanistan. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Retina scans

After the passengers are removed, they're placed under strict Marine supervision as their vehicle is carefully inspected. A Marine with a specialized camera called a "Bat and Hiide, " or biometric automated toolset and handheld interagency identity detection equipment will take a retina scan of the passenger's eyes.

This system will search a data base and reveal the passenger's identity, as terrorists are known for using multiple aliases.

The eyes never lie.

The Bat and Hiide system.

To detain or not detain

If the vehicle and its passengers check out clean, the occupants are free to go. If not, they will be detained for further questioning.

These Marines detain a potential bad guy in Iraq. (Source: 2nd MarDiv)

Do you have any interesting vehicle checkpoints stories? Comment below.