Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Andrew Porch
2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait — Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole!
Those words provided the only warning, seconds before a controlled detonation blew that could be heard throughout the Kuwaiti desert, during training at Udairi Range Complex near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Dec. 30.
The training allowed Soldiers of 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, the opportunity to handle live demolitions and make improvised charges.
“The purpose was to familiarize Soldiers on both standard and improvised demolitions to build a basic knowledge of demolitions to facilitate future ranges and test Soldiers on new demolitions training,” said 1st Lt. Timothy Dwyer, executive officer, Company C, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd ABCT.
For some Soldiers, this was the first time handling live demolitions.
“I actually got to make an improvised claymore,” said Pvt. Michael Hart, combat engineer, Company C. “I never really knew how to do it, so it was great to learn.”
Hart said he knew the training was essential to being prepared for battle.
“The best part of the training was knowing exactly what to do if something were to happen if we were in a fight,” said Hart. “If my team leader or squad leader would happen to go down, I would know what to do.”
Leadership said it was important for the Soldiers to train as they fight.
“The Soldiers benefited by being able to build a charge from basic components of Modern Demolition Initiators and military demolitions,” said Dwyer. “They handled live demo, crimped live blasting caps and blew them (while taking cover in) their vehicles, as they would have done in a real combat situation.”
After the training commenced, the senior leadership spoke with the Soldiers about the importance of doing everything safely and to the standard, and it resonated with the Soldiers.
“I trust my leadership to the fullest,” said Hart. “They taught me everything I know.”
Dwyer said the training has set the unit up for success on upcoming ranges.
“The unit is better prepared, because Soldiers have a better understanding of demolitions and MDI,” said Dwyer. “They will build upon this in future demolitions ranges, and continue to pave the way for the brigade on all demolition missions.”