. . . something fierce. SISTANI, Afghanistan â In comes "The Joker." That's the nickname given by the crew to one of the 72-ton, 40-foot (12-meter)-long Assault Breacher Vehicles. Fitted with a plow and nearly 7,000 pounds (3,175 kilograms) of explosives, the Breachers, as they are commonly known, are the Marines Corps' answer to the deadliest threat facing NATO troops in Afghanistan: thousands of land mines and roadside bombs, or improvised explosive devices, that litter the Afghan landscape. The Breachers, metal monsters that look like a tank with a cannon, carry a 15-foot (4.5-meter) -wide plow supported by metallic skis that glide on the dirt, digging a safety lane through the numerous minefields laid by the Taliban. If there are too many mines, the Breachers can fire rockets carrying high-grade C-4 explosive up to 150 yards (meters) forward, detonating the hidden bombs at a safe distance so that troops and vehicles can pass through safely. The detonations â over 1,700 pounds (770 kilograms) of Mine Clearing Line Charges â send a sheet fire into the air and shock waves rippling through the desert in all directions. <A href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100211/ap_on_re_as/as_afghan_the_breacher">Read the rest at Yahoo News</a>.