PLEDGE NOW
Beyond 'The Hurt Locker'

Actor Jeremy Renner in a scene from "The Hurt Locker," directed by Kathryn Bigelow, which won the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director at the Academy Awards on Sunday. (AP)

Six Academy Awards for “The Hurt Locker” Sunday night, including an Oscar for Best Picture. Then the cast and crew went off to party.

But the bomb-defusing work depicted so powerfully in the film never ends in Iraq and Afghanistan.

IEDs — “improvised explosive devices” — have been the number-one killer of American troops in both wars. They make every step a potential last step. They slow and enervate soldiers ready to charge and fight.

This hour, On Point: Beyond “The Hurt Locker” to the real battle against IEDs.

Guests:

Joining us from Fredricksburg, Va., is Kevin Lutz, retired Army Colonel who was the top officer overseeing the military’s EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) work in Iraq from 2006 to 2009. He led the 52nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, members of which are portrayed in “The Hurt Locker,” and led Task Force Troy, fighting IEDs at the height of the Iraq War. He’s served three combat tours, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has been awarded two Bronze Stars. He’s now executive vice president of A-T Solutions, a company focusing on global counter-terrorism efforts.

You can read about what Lutz faced in Iraq in a series written by The Washington Post’s Rick Atkinson.

Also from Fredricksburg is Jonathan Hunter, retired Army Captain who served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer in Afghanistan, primarily in the Khost and Kandahar areas. He served with Kevin Lutz in Afghanistan and now works for Allen Vanguard, the company that makes the bomb suits featured in “The Hurt Locker.” He works on anti-IED systems and briefs Congress on the latest technologies.

From Arlington, Va., is Command Sergeant Major Todd Burnett, the military’s senior enlisted advisor to the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). He is the recipient of the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Legion of Merit. He has served in Iraq and Afghanistan and has endured 44 IED attacks, 23 of which were direct hits.

More:

We’ve posted statistics on IEDs in Afghanistan from the Department of Defense.

A special thanks today to the EOD Memorial Foundation, which is dedicated to the memory of troops who have served in this line of work. Our gratitude to executive director Jim O’Neil.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 12, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., reacts to the cheering crowd at his primary night rally Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Trump and Sanders take New Hampshire. Ferguson under fire from the Justice Department. A rocky week on Wall Street. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Feb 12, 2016
Overcast sky surrounds a man as he rests beneath the art sculpture 'Cupid’s Span' Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 at Rincon Park in San Francisco. The Bay area has endured unsettled, rainy weather for a week. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Love in the digital age. Romance, sex and expectations in a time of Tinder, Bumble and OKCupid.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 11, 2016
A sampling of same of the great books author David Denby thinks could help encourage young readers to love books. (National Post)

David Denby on the 24 great books that can bring even today’s kids to reading. And maybe you, too.

 
Feb 11, 2016
In this Oct. 21, 2013, file photo, Vern Lund, president of Liberty Mine in central Mississippi near DeKalb, Miss., holds some of the lignite coal planned for use in the nearby Mississippi Power Co. carbon capture power plant. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

The Supreme Court hits the brakes on the heart of President Obama’s push to fight global warming. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #9: Remedy Or Replica?
Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016

Jack Beatty offers one last note from New Hampshire, and looks beyond to the primary races yet to come in both parties.

More »
Comment
 
Tom Ashbrook’s Note From New Hampshire
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016

Fresh off the New Hampshire Presidential Primary results, host Tom Ashbrook reflects on his trip to New Hampshire, and on what comes next in the race to the White House.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #6: Bernie v. Hillary — The Electability Debate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Bill and Betty are not real New Hampshire voters. But their arguments about the Democratic race for President most certainly are.

More »
Comment