News: Knocking softly: Assaultmen utilize breaching charges
FORT A.P. HILL, Va. — Explosions rocked Fort A.P. Hill, Va., Sept. 12, as Marines from 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, blew the handles off more than a dozen doors and cleared paths through lines of concertina wire during a series of training exercises.
Assaultmen from the battalion's Companies A and B conducted biannual explosives training in order to sustain their demolitions expertise and prepare them to lead the way during assaults when combat engineers are not available.
The majority of the Marines participating in the training have conducted similar operations for the last several years, said Sgt. Ryan White, an assault section leader with Company A.
In fast-paced operations in Afghanistan and Iraq during recent years, Marines like White often found themselves blocked by obstacles such as walls and locked doors, and such barriers needed to be cleared in a timely fashion so as to not bog down operations.
"The purpose of this [training] is to provide us with the capability to handle these situations when we don't have combat engineers," said White, a Milwaukee native.
Sgt. Frankie Hines, an assault section leader with Company B, echoed White's sentiments, adding, "This training allows the Marines to get some hands-on experience with demolitions and see the effects that breeching charges have on a target."
The Marines used a variety of charges designed to blow off door handles, destroy door hinges, or simply push down doors — whatever the mission requires.
The assaultmen created, emplaced and detonated a variety of the charges they may be required to use while on a deployment, and the training also included tips on how to make improvised explosives. For example, with a length of steel, explosives, and a roll of tape, the Marines can make an improvised Bangalore torpedo to smash through barbed wire and other tangled obstacles.
Getting out to a demolitions range and working with live explosives is a rare and invaluable opportunity, said Lance Cpl. Adam T. Toffling, an assaultman with Company B.
For more information on the II Marine Expeditionary Force, visit the unit's web site at www.iimefpublic.usmc.mil.
Date Posted:09.24.2009 10:44
Location:FORT A.P. HILL, US
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