SALAH A-DIN PROVINCE, Iraq _ A faint boom echoed through the calm. For the soldiers of the 571st Sapper Company from Fort Lewis, Wash., it was unmistakable.
"That was a bomb, wasn't it?" asked one soldier riding in the lead of a six-vehicle convoy.
"Roger, that was a bomb," another replied.
Seconds later, the radio call verified it: A roadside explosive had detonated under the convoy's rear vehicle, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle.
Radio chatter also confirmed that no one was injured.
It was first time in more than two months that the Fort Lewis-based company's 2nd Platoon had been hit.
What happened over the next two hours Wednesday night _ between the blast and the platoon's return to Joint Base Balad _ highlights the advances made in countering roadside bombs and the new rules under which U.S. troops are operating in Iraq.
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