FORT CARSON, Colo.- Soldiers stood in awe as a massive column of smoke created by 50 pounds of daisy-chained C4 explosives slowly dissipated at range 121A on Fort Carson, Colorado, Nov. 19.The confidence blast was just one of many controlled detonations during the three-day live-fire breach training hosted by combat engineers of 299th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, for infantrymen of 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div."We're doing a round robin of breaching tasks; ballistic, mechanical and explosive breaching," said Staff Sgt. Jacob Buchanan, combat engineer squad leader, Company B, 299th BEB, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "We're instructing on the proper methods for each and performing a practical exercise."Soldiers learned how to prepare a block of C4 explosive for detonation, create and apply a flex linear charge to a door, blast through a door with a shotgun, and simpler breaching techniques using tools, such as a battering ram or a hooligan tool prying device.Although the infantrymen are already knowledgeable about urban breaching, the training offered new techniques for entering hostile or unknown buildings."It gives us another means of entry," said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Hurd, infantry platoon sergeant, Company C, 1st Bn., 38th Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div.
"Instead of banging on a door with a hammer or a ram, we have ballistics and explosives to expedite the breaching process."More cross-training between the battalions is planned for the future due to the success of the event."It definitely expanded my grasp of entering and clearing a building or a room," said Pvt. Joshua Puskac, infantryman, Company C, 1st Bn., 38th Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "Today is probably some of the best training that we've had. I've learned a lot more than I expected."