Rudimentary nature of Afghan IEDs makes them so lethal
The death of Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid underlines how critical bomb disposal operators have come to the Nato campaign in Afghanistan.
The numbers involved give some idea of how making Improvised Explosive Devices or IEDs has become a major industry on Helmand Province.
During the first nine months of this year, British forces dealt with more than 4,000 IED incidents.
Thousands more bombs were either dealt with by other Nato forces, or blew up those planting them or locals and livestock.
As for those that remain undiscovered, it is anyone's guess how many there might be.
The next wave
Staff Sgt Schmid had defused 64 IEDs during the first five months of his tour.
Bomb disposal operators (that term covers officers and NCOs, men and women) are working flat out, more intensively even than at the height of the Northern Ireland Troubles.
Recently, Newsnight filmed with the next wave of bomb disposal people bound for Afghanistan.
They were training at the Felix Centre at Kineton in Warwickshire.
Talking to instructors who had returned recently from Afghanistan, such as Staff Sergeant Stu Dixon who won the George Medal there, it is the rudimentary nature of so many of the Afghan devices that makes them so difficult to deal with.
Sometimes the pressure pads or trip devices made with bare bits of wire, and old lumps of wood will result in the slightest movement making an electrical contact, leading to the explosion.
Dealing with this threat on an almost daily basis requires a very unusual type of person as we discovered during our filming.