America's Wired Warrior

The military is stepping up its investment in cutting-edge technology that uses electronics to thwart the enemy

Major Elden Lacer didn't expect to be sitting in a classroom in Oklahoma this winter. An 18-year U.S. Army veteran, he has served two tours of duty in Iraq. But Lacer isn't doing standard training. Instead, he's taking an unusual 11-week training course on electronics, learning such things as how to turn a garage door opener into a bomb detonator. He's also finding out how insurgents can turn key fobs into explosives and how tech systems called jammers can be used to disable electronic weapons. "Whoever can [use this technology] best is going to have a decided advantage," says Lacer, a former Apache helicopter pilot.

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