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Robert Britton, a technical training specialist with American Science and Engineering, Inc., explains how the Z Backscatter Van works to Brig. Gen. Harvey T. Landwermeyer, commander of Korea Region Office, Installation Management Office, during a demonstration Friday. Area II purchased one of the vans to bolster force protection.
Robert Britton, a technical training specialist with American Science and Engineering, Inc., explains how the Z Backscatter Van works to Brig. Gen. Harvey T. Landwermeyer, commander of Korea Region Office, Installation Management Office, during a demonstration Friday. Area II purchased one of the vans to bolster force protection. (T.D. Flack / S&S)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Area II officials unveiled their newest force protection tool here last week: a mobile X-ray screening system.

The Z Backscatter Van, or ZBV, uses X-ray technology that screens for organic matter, according to Robert Britton, a technical training specialist with American Science and Engineering Inc.

That means the ZBV can search for things like “people, liquids, IED (improvised explosive device) propellants,” Britton said. He said normal transmission X-rays miss these items.

The ZBV also can detect low levels of radioactivity from gamma rays and neutrons, according to the company’s Web site, meaning it can detect dirty bombs and nuclear weapons in addition to conventional explosives.

Britton and Sophia Williams, who works with Product Manager Force Protection Systems, delivered the $877,000 vehicle to South Korea. It’s the first ZBV on the Korean peninsula, Williams said.

On Friday, Britton and Williams gave two demonstrations, one to military police personnel and the other to local leaders.

Brig. Gen. Harvey T. Landwermeyer, commander of Korea Region Office, Installation Management Office, and Col. Ronald C. Stephens were on hand for the afternoon demonstration.

The ZBV can be used while being driven or while it’s stationed at a spot, like at a gate.

Ricky Oxendine, Area II Law and Order Officer, said training was to begin Monday for the personnel who will operate the van.

Oxendine said the van will help in scanning the large cargo trucks that deliver goods to Yongsan Garrison.

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