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Sonic Weapon Is Useful for Peacekeeping

March 16, 2004

Re William Arkin's "The Pentagon's Secret Scream" (Opinion, March 7), about American Technology Corp.'s Long Range Acoustic Device: First, LRAD is not a weapon. LRAD is a highly directional, long-range hailing and warning device that communicates intelligibly in a narrow beam at over 500 yards. LRAD supports the effort to defuse potentially dangerous situations by communicating instructions, reinforcing them and influencing behavior with an irritating warning tone. LRAD's main purpose is to determine, at safe distances, the intent of an individual or individuals approaching members of our armed forces and the installations or vehicles guarded or operated by them.

Second, LRAD is safe when used properly -- to both those in the beam and to the operator. The source level is scalable for different situations.

How can we expect our servicemen and women to defuse tense human situations and minimize injury or loss of life without the ability to clearly communicate, effectively and with authority, at safe distances with the local population? LRAD provides the enhanced capability we need in situations where we put our servicemen and -women at risk in keeping and winning the peace.

Carl H. Gruenler

Vice President of Military

and Government Operations,

American Technology Corp.

San Diego

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