In the News

News | April 3, 2009

Yes, I can hear you now; non-lethal acoustic hailing device demonstrated

By Cpl. Meloney R. Moses Quantico Sentry

MCB QUANTICO, Va. – The Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate held a demonstration of an Acoustic Hailing Device, March 26.

An AHD is a non-lethal, long-range hailing and warning device capable of producing directional sound, allowing the projection of warning tones and voice commands. Non-lethal weapons are defined as ‘‘weapons, devices and munitions that are explicitly designed and primarily employed to incapacitate targeted personnel or materiel immediately, while minimizing fatalities, permanent injury to personnel and un-desired damage to property in the target area or environment. Non-lethal weapons are intended to have reversible effects on personnel and materiel.”

The Navy and Marine Corps have bought Acoustic Hailing Devices to be used on ships, at checkpoints and mounted atop vehicles.

The device demonstrated at Quantico can broadcast recorded sounds and tones at high decibel levels to warn individuals that they are approaching a restricted area or are coming too close to vehicles or vessels.

‘‘It is an addition to the escalation of force,” said Lt. Cmdr. Lance Lantier, the education and experimentation officer of the JNLWD. ‘‘It is not meant to replace lethal weapons, but is used as a warning. It keeps us from having to pull the trigger as a first response.” During the demonstration, the AHD was tested from 100, 200 and 300 meters away. The device was successful in relaying audible intelligible messages from those ranges.

This hailing and warning device helps service members determine the intent of someone at long distances and helps eliminate the possibility of sudden attacks and miscommunication.

When using the device a stern command is given. If the subject approaching does not respond to that command or reacts violently, the service member will know the subject may mean harm.

‘‘It is an audible cue to let people know not to come any further – targeting someone with a warning tone and speaking through this device,” said Lantier. ‘‘Non-lethal weapons provide warfighters escalation-of-force options. It’s a matter of how we can first try to alter someone’s behavior without using lethal force.”