News: 299th BEB clears the route
Story by Spc. William Howard
FORT CARSON, Colo.— The sudden beeping noise from the ground-penetrating radar of a Husky indicates the immediate threat of a nearby buried explosive device and brings the convoy to an abrupt halt during route clearance training, June 5.
To the engineers of Company B, 299th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, route clearance is a vital mission to ensure the mobility of military and civilian vehicles on commonly used roads.
“We’re making sure that the main routes are safe and serviceable; it’s a mobility effort,” said Sgt. Ray Navarro, team leader, Company B, 299th BEB, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. “A lot of us have prior experience with deployments but it’s always good to stay fresh and keep up with the new equipment.”
The Husky Mounted Detection System is a vehicle used by combat engineers during route clearance missions to detect metallic and non-metallic explosive hazards, pressure plates, and anti-tank mines with ground-penetrating radar.
“It takes confidence to operate the vehicle and you’re making sure it’s clear for everyone else,” said Spc. Derrick Minkner, Husky operator, Company B, 299th BEB, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. “You really have to pay attention and be dedicated.”
Once the Husky locates a possible threat, engineers use the remote-controlled, 30-foot hydraulic arm of an armored Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle to execute the delicate work of clearing the route of explosive hazards.
“I’m not worried about setting off the explosive ,” said Pvt. Onterio Theus, Buffalo arm operator, Company B, 299th BEB, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. “Because the point of the Buffalo arm is that it can set it off without endangering anyone in the vehicle.”
Over the course of the four-day training the engineers demonstrated the standard operating procedures, tactics, techniques and procedures they’re expected to perform while in a combat environment.