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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.”

3rd Brigade Cav Families Foster Community Through Fitness

Family members, of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers, gathered to strengthen their bodies, minds and community.

Spouses of paratroopers assigned to 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment participated in the inaugural “Airborne Thunder” fitness event on Aug. 8, 2018 inside Fort Bragg, N.C. at Pope Army Airfield’s Woodland Park.

Spouses from the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division run during the inaugural Airborne Thunder at Pope Army Airfield’s Woodland Park on Aug. 8, 2018.

“Airborne Thunders foster community through fitness. Creating an opportunity for our spouses to connect through fitness, sports and recreation improves not only physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, but encourages relationships among the Recon family,” said Mrs. Jen Hartsock, the 5-73 CAV’s Family Readiness Group Advisor.

Spouses of the Cavalry Squadron met at Woodland Park in the morning to conduct numerous fitness events designed to improve their cardiovascular and muscular fitness. Exercises in the fitness circuit included kettlebell squats, dips and a distance run.

“Today we offered a wide variety of workout to accommodate fitness levels. I’m inspired to say that the majority of the spouses who attended today either just had babies or are expecting,” said Hartsock. “The workout was geared to challenge even the fittest while accommodating those unable to participate in a high impact physical event.”

Two spouses of paratroopers assigned to the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division perform kettlebell squats during the inaugural Airborne Thunder at Pope Army Airfield’s Woodland Park on Aug. 8, 2018.

In celebration of the coming school year, children were also invited to attend. They enjoyed a nearby playground and an opportunity to have their face painted and receive school supplies.

At the conclusion of Airborne Thunder, senior leadership from the Cavalry Squadron spoke with the spouses about the unit’s future training events and other opportunities for them to participate as members of the Family Readiness Group.

“Behind many of our strong soldiers are strong spouses. Gathering together helps create authentic connections which are especially important,” said Harstock.

82nd Best Medic Competition Tests Knowledge, Fortitude

   

Spc. Edgar Cortes assigned to 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division provides medical aid to a notional casualty during the Best Medic Competition at Fort Bragg, N.C., July 26, 2018. The medical lanes help simulate the stress of combat and prepare our Medics to save their fellow Paratroopers. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. John Lytle)

     Two paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division distinguished themselves above their peers during a grueling competition on Fort Bragg held July 25-26.

     Staff Sgt. Miguel Matias, a Medic assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Troop, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment and Sgt. Tyler Fisher, a Medic assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment proved their exceptional medical knowledge while demonstrating steadfast endurance during the two day competition.

      “Best Medic is important because it tests out the Medics’ competency and their physical and mental toughness,” said Sgt. 1st Class Evelyn Pollard, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s senior medic, about the competition.

Staff Sgt. Miguel Matias assigned to 5th Squadron, 73rd Calvary Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division climbs over an obstacle during the Best Medic Competition at Fort Bragg, N.C., July 25, 2018. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. John Lytle)

      Participants began the competition in the early morning with a Ranger Physical Fitness Test before moving onto a written evaluation and marksmanship ranges.  Designed to determine the division’s top two medics, events continued to stress the paratroopers’ technical knowledge and mental and physical endurance with an obstacle course, night land-navigation, a 12-mile ruck and a rope-rigging evaluation. 

     With little rest and nutrition, paratroopers’ completed a final evaluation consisting of lanes testing their ability to respond to a wide range of simulated medical emergencies.

Spc. Aaron Tolson assigned to 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division navigates under a wired obstacle during the Best Medic Competition at Fort Bragg, N.C., July 25, 2018. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. John Lytle)

      Spc. Edgar Cortes, a member of Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was the youngest medic competing, having earned his Expert Field Medical Badge earlier this year. 

     “I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Cortes before beginning the competition. “I came here for the experience and realistic training.”

     Matias and Tyler will continue to train to compete in the Army-wide Command Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Clark Jr. competition, scheduled to begin September 15 on Camp Bullis, Texas.

Staff Sgt. Miguel Matias, Spc. Edgar Cortes and Spc. Aaron Tolson, paratroopers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, competed in the Best Medic competition at Fort Bragg, N.C., July 25-26th, 2018. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. John Lytle)