• 2nd Lt. Anthony Cichorz, platoon leader for 42nd Clearance Company, 54th Engineer Battalion, from Chesapeake, Va. speaks with Soldiers from the Georgian National Army 33rd Infantry Battalion during a training exercise in Hohenfels Feb. 27.

    42nd Clearance Co. provides support to Georgian National Army

    2nd Lt. Anthony Cichorz, platoon leader for 42nd Clearance Company, 54th Engineer Battalion, from Chesapeake, Va. speaks with Soldiers from the Georgian National Army 33rd Infantry Battalion during a training exercise in Hohenfels Feb. 27.

  • Pfc. Max B. Wolfer (right), from Vancouver, Wash., and Pvt. Eric A. Alcante, from Chicago, both combat engineers with 42nd Clearance Company conduct dismount operations during a route clearance mission in Hohenfels Feb. 27. The 42nd Clearance Co. conducted route clearance patrols Feb. 14 to March 2 in support of the 33rd Infantry Battalion to provide them freedom of mobility throughout their area of operations.

    42nd Clearance Co. provides support to Georgian National Army

    Pfc. Max B. Wolfer (right), from Vancouver, Wash., and Pvt. Eric A. Alcante, from Chicago, both combat engineers with 42nd Clearance Company conduct dismount operations during a route clearance mission in Hohenfels Feb. 27. The 42nd Clearance Co...

  • Pfc. Dustin A. Eudy (left), from Canton, Ohio, pulls security along with Pvt. Christian Hildago from El Paso, Texas, both combat engineers with 42nd Clearance Company, 54th Engineer Battalion, at the Hohenfels Training Area Feb. 27. The 42nd Clearance Co. conducted route clearance patrols Feb. 14 to March 2 in support of the 33rd Infantry Battalion to provide them freedom of mobility throughout their area of operations.

    42nd Clearance Co. provides support to Georgian National Army

    Pfc. Dustin A. Eudy (left), from Canton, Ohio, pulls security along with Pvt. Christian Hildago from El Paso, Texas, both combat engineers with 42nd Clearance Company, 54th Engineer Battalion, at the Hohenfels Training Area Feb. 27. The 42nd Clearance...

  • Soldiers from 42nd Clearance Company, 54th Engineer Battalion operate a Buffalo mine protected vehicle in order to interrogate a suspected improvised explosive device placed along the road in Hohenfels Training Area, Feb. 27.

    42nd Clearance Co. provides support to Georgian National Army

    Soldiers from 42nd Clearance Company, 54th Engineer Battalion operate a Buffalo mine protected vehicle in order to interrogate a suspected improvised explosive device placed along the road in Hohenfels Training Area, Feb. 27.

  • Staff Sgt. Thomas Kurete (left), a squad leader for 42nd Clearance Company, 54th Engineer Battalion, from Alta Loma, Calif., and 2nd Lt. Anthony Cichorz,a  platoon leader for 42nd Clearance Company, 54th Engineer Battalion, from Chesapeake, Va., speak with Soldiers from the Georgian National Army 33rd Infantry Battalion during a training exercise in Hohenfels Feb. 28. The 42nd Clearance Co. conducted route clearance patrols Feb. 14 to March 2 in support of the 33rd Infantry Battalion to provide them freedom of mobility throughout their area of operations.

    42nd Clearance Co. provides support to Georgian National Army

    Staff Sgt. Thomas Kurete (left), a squad leader for 42nd Clearance Company, 54th Engineer Battalion, from Alta Loma, Calif., and 2nd Lt. Anthony Cichorz,a platoon leader for 42nd Clearance Company, 54th Engineer Battalion, from Chesapeake, Va., speak...

HOHENFELS, Germany - With hours spent inside military vehicles and crawling along a route at speeds of five kilometers per hour trying to find explosives meant to disable other military formations, no one ever said route clearance was a glamorous job. It's a tedious job, requiring a lot of patience and knowledge of the possible dangers to be searching for on the battlefield.

Yet it's a job that the Soldiers from 2nd Platoon, 42nd Clearance Company, 54th Engineer Battalion were learning to perfect here from Feb. 14 to March 2. Their primary mission while at the Hohenfels Training Area was to conduct route clearance patrols in support of the Georgian National Army's 33rd Light Infantry Battalion, as the unit prepares for a deployment to Afghanistan.

"We needed to show (the 33rd Light Inf. Bn.) our capabilities as a route clearance platoon so they could utilize us effectively to complete their mission," said 2nd Lt. Anthony Cichorz, 2nd platoon leader from Chesapeake, Va.

During this training exercise, the 33rd Light Inf. Bn.'s mission included conducting raids of weapons caches, combating planned assaults on their operating bases and conducting engagements throughout the cities.

"Our route clearance patrols were simulated and executed just as they would be in real-world situations. It really helped my guys build cohesion and learn to enjoy what can sometimes be a slow, painful process," said Cichorz.

Throughout the exercise, communication became difficult between the two nations due to the language barrier and the availability of interpreters.

Even still, Pfc. Dustin A. Eudy, a combat engineer from Canton, Ohio, recognized the significance of the combined effort.
"It was important that we learn to interact with other units and different countries for our route clearance patrols," Eudy said. "We may have to work with them while deployed so it's good to get used to it now."

Pfc. Darvale Ingram, a combat engineer from Chicago, described how Soldiers from the 33rd Inf. Bn. played an integral role in the success of one of their Medical Evacuations.

"We brought the casualty to a landing zone near the Georgian post and they were able to help us pull security so we could focus on caring for the wounded Soldier," said Ingram.

The platoon cleared nearly 250 kilometers of road throughout the two and a half week exercise, providing safer traveling conditions for those units operating in the battlespace.

Page last updated Wed March 16th, 2011 at 05:49