Clearing Obstacles in a Flash and with a Boom; Panther Brigade Engineers Fire First Live Mine-Clearing Line Charge on Fort Bragg in 20 Years

Paratroopers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division recently trained to clear minefields in a flash and with a boom.

Engineers from Alpha and Bravo Companies, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion trained to breach complex obstacles and provide assured mobility of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team on Fort Bragg, North Carolina Aug. 18, 2018.

 

Engineers from the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion prepare a live Mine-Clearing Line Charge for firing on a Fort Bragg, North Carolina range Aug. 18, 2018. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Engineers trained to clear complex obstacles by firing the first live-MICLIC in over 20 years on Fort Bragg.

They accomplished this by firing the first live Mine-Clearing Line Charge on Fort Bragg in more than 20 years.

“The MICLIC provides the capability to clear an eight by one hundred meter path through a mine obstacle in minutes,” said. Maj. Christopher Pierce, the 307th AEB Executive Officer.

The MICLIC is a rocket-propelled line charge containing over 1750 lbs. of explosives capable of breaching minefields emplaced by enemy forces.

Once launched, the charges explode, detonating or pushing away any buried mines nearby and clearing a path for vehicles and personnel to travel through.

In this still taken from a video, paratroopers from the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion fire the first live Mine-Clearing Line Charge on Fort Bragg in more than 20 years. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Engineers trained to use the MICLIC to clear complex obstacles and ensure battlefield maneuverability of the brigade.

“This capability allows the brigade’s maneuver forces to maintain momentum through the obstacle to reach their objectives,” said Pierce.

Though many inert MICLICs are fired on Fort Bragg, this was the first live one fired in over 20 years. Coordination for the ranges began in March and required the occupation of four ranges and numerous road guards controlling fire-breaks leading into the area said Pierce.

In this still taken from a video, a Mine-Clearing Line Charge fired by paratroopers of the 307th Airborne Engineer battalion detonates Aug. 18, 2018 on a Fort Bragg, North Carolina range. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Engineers trained to clear complex obstacles and ensure battlefield mobility by firing the first live MICLIC in 20 years on FBNC.

“Conducting an explosive clearance of an obstacle with a MICLIC is a lost talent that is not often trained on due to the difficulty obtaining the required land and live demolitions,” said Pierce. “This opportunity provides the training and repetitions needed to ensure the Sapper Companies are trained and prepared to execute this task.”

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