July 6, 2006

Knock, knock...116th IBCT Soldiers blast through the front door at AT

By Staff Sgt. A.J. Coyne
Virginia Guard Public Affairs



Soldiers attach a water impulse charge to a door before detonating the device June 15 at Fort Pickett, Va. (Photo by Staff Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs Office)

BLACKSTONE, Va. - Some Virginia Army National Guard troops knocked down doors and blew through walls during a day of annual training at Fort Pickett, Va.

The Soldiers, from A Company, Special Troops Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, spent June 15 learning about urban breeching charges and the most effective way to use them. They designed, built and detonated three different types of breeching charges- water impulse charges, flex linear charges and C-shaped charges.

Although their two weeks of annual training also included weapons qualification, MOUT training and a convoy live fire, their combat mission meant the demolition training carried extra importance.

“In an urban environment, these skills are vital,” said Capt. Ryan Thompson, company commander. “And we’re a combat engineer company so mobility is important.”

Although only about 50 percent of the unit had worked with these devices before, the other half of the group included many combat experienced Soldiers.

“These Soldiers are outstanding,” Thompson said. “Some are nervous. Some are experienced. But they’re all meshing. You couldn’t ask for a better group.”

One member of that group was Pfc. Lyndsay Mollohan, who is assigned to Headquarters Company maintenance section. She had the opportunity to spend the day with A Co. and experience training she might not otherwise see in her own unit.

“This is very exciting,” she said. “This is my first time doing this and I was intimidated at first. But I thought it was awesome.”

“This is definitely cool,” Mollohan added. “It’s definitely something different.”

Two Soldiers from the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team build a water impulse charge during annual training June 15 at Fort Pickett, Va. The Soldiers, from A. Co., Special Troops Battalion, learned about three different types of urban breeching charges during demoltions training. (Photo by Staff Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs )


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