News: ‘Can Do’ soldiers conduct hands-on demolition training
By 1st Lt. Nicholas Richardson, 3-15 Inf. Regt., 4IBCT, 3rd ID
WEST POINT, N.Y. – “Can Do” officers and noncommissioned officers from Company A, 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, had the opportunity to learn various demolition skills, June 26, at West Point, from Task Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal experts, out of Fort Drum, N.Y.
The training consisted of basic demolition knots to the principles of electrical demolition; however, this was more than just an opportunity to learn some new skills for the 3-15th Inf., also known as the China Battalion.
The skills learned will help them as they conduct battle drills, specifically breach of a mined wire obstacle, during platoon live-fire exercises slated for the fall.
“I’m excited to transfer what we learned today into a live fire scenario,” said 1st Lt. Colin Mahon, a platoon leader with Co. A, and a Queens, N.Y., native.
“It’s one thing to learn something new,” said Mahon. “But it’s even better when you know you’ll get to use it for real.”
The soldiers also had the opportunity to set up and detonate four Bangalore torpedoes, an instrument used to clear obstacles from a safe distance that consisted of explosives packed into one or more connected tubes.
For the China Battalion noncommissioned officers, taking the skills back with them to train their soldiers was very important.
“I’m excited to show what we learned to the other soldiers in my squad,” said Sgt. Kyle Graves, a native of Tucson, Arizona, and a team leader with Co. A. “Anytime you can learn something new and pass it along is exciting.”
The soldiers of 3-15 Inf. weren’t the only ones who learned something new. The senior EOD team leader on the ground also picked up some new tricks from his infantry counterparts.
“They showed me how to make a field expedient Bangalore using materials available to them,” said the EOD team leader. “That sort of adaptation to their environment is impressive, and I love the fact that even though I came out to teach I wound up learning a thing or two myself.”
Some of the soldiers of 3-15 Inf. now turn their focus towards returning to Fort Stewart, Ga., to go on summer leave, and then to resume training at their home station. The remainder of Task Force China will continue its mission to train and mentor cadets throughout the summer at West Point.