Vallon Mine Detector
We had a few problems with the use of the Vallon/VMH3 mine detector during Sundays Op. There is not much on the net re this aspect and it is not included in Ace3 Wiki though it has been included as an ace interaction. In order to use the Vallon you must be an engineer or an explosives specialist as well as to be able to defuse IED’s or mines effectively. However, there is still a chance they may blow in any event.
It must be placed in your pistol slot to be able to use it and you may need to select it from the scroll well to change from a weapon to the Vallon. Once in your hands you need to use ace self-interaction key to connect the headphones and then select Activate on the self-interaction key a second time for it to be operational. It has a range of about 2 metres from your body and will emit a beeping sound if it comes across a mine/IED. The sound gets faster the nearer you get. This is the time to be careful. You need to spot exactly where it is, which can be difficult with the smaller Apers mines. You must go PRONE to safely crawl up to the device slowly.
In order to defuse the device, you need to have a defusal kit and get close enough for the spanner icon and defusal sign to appear. CRAWL SLOWLY until it appears HOLDING DOWN the ace-interaction key or tapping it frequently. If you don’t the defuse option doesn’t come up and BOOM you go!! Use ace- interaction (small red circle) to select defuse and you will get a tick sign when the device is safe.
Some mines are almost impossible to defuse. These are Apers Bounding mines detonated using a pressure plate. The Apers Bounding Mine is almost impossible to defuse and are best dealt with by rifle fire. They are recognisable as they stick out of the ground like a stick grenade. They can be defused if you approach it by crawling exceedingly slowly and pausing for about 3-5 secs after each movement, but that is not guaranteed (Chances are about 1 in 5 and it will slow everything down). Once it goes up in the air say “Bye Bye”. If shooting at it you need to be far away and hit the top of the mine.
If defused then either mark the device as safe with a prior agreed sign or pick it up and take it to safety. Here be careful as there is an action on the scroll wheel to re-activate the device, whereupon there will be BIG BOOM with major injury or death the result. This does not work on the Apers mine but you can accidentally set the timer or remote detonation on Claymore’s, IED’s, Demo Blocks and Demo Charges.
To a large extent these depends on the type of mission and the type of opposition. In practical terms, the search can be slow, but in the interests of the mission you can speed up the process depending on the nature of the mission. By design IED’s are easier to spot and you just need to look for suspicious piles of rubbish or items out of place to check rather than a time consuming methodical search. With the smaller and more sophisticated mines they are harder to spot and you will need to go slower particularly checking
lumps of grass and bushes etc.
A final note - mine clearing leaves the engineers very exposed as they are out at the sharp end with little or no cover. Additionally, they must be looking down all the time and listening for the beeping sound, so they are not concentrating on
anything else. They need protection and covering fire as well as possibly smoke, depending on the circumstances of the mission/environment.
These notes put together on basic info and spending a whole morning being blown up, but particularly from ANDY1s informative post of 21-8-2016 on Mines/IEDs and Ace.
Before you set yourself up with the Vallon and begin sweeping, it is worth taking a moment to visually plan your route, check the ground that you intend to walk along with binoculars as you may spot potential IEDs, and then have an idea of where you can take cover in case you take fire while sweeping. Once you start, your view will be severely restricted as your focus should be on sweeping the ground in front of you. As a result, it is best to have an idea of your surroundings ahead of time.
Also important is the spray paint. If you do find an IED, mark it up, and move back. You should not attempt to diffuse it until you have called it up to the rest of your section. You should wait until given the order to defuse it, allowing the SL to call the IED in to troop, mark it on the map, and get the rest of the section to take cover. There may be an argument against defusing at that time and a new route around may be the ultimate decision rather than risking an explosion. On a couple of occasions I've seen the engineer start creeping up to defuse while the rest of the section is still moving up behind him. Not good.