Fort Knox, Ky. (Aug. 30, 2016) -- For the first time in about a decade, Soldiers from Fort Campbell, Kentucky's A and B Companies, 326th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 327th Infantry Regiment conducted mine clearing line charge training at Fort Knox's St. Vith Range Aug. 27 to 30.
According to Company A Commander Cpt. Jay Beeman, the unit's primary mission is to serve as light sappers -- conducting dismounted breeching operations using small-level charges of C-4 and Bangalores to clear the path for Soldiers on foot.
MICLIC training was directed by the brigade's leadership in an effort to sharpen skills infrequently practiced by the unit's engineer elements and provide additional mine-clearing capabilities.
"We haven't trained this capability in years," said Beeman. "However, it's a useful skillset to have and it reinforces all of the other types of breeching we do as it's much more complex," he added.
The unit also used the opportunity to perfect a new technique of deploying a MICLIC for light sapper units.
"Normally, MICLICs are fired from armored vehicles because they are more capable of performing those operations in stride, but our technique involves towing it in with a Mine Protected All-Terrain Vehicle," said Beeman. "This allows us to conduct vehicle lane or area mine clearance when armored assets aren't available."
The companies also had an opportunity to train alongside another one of its brigade elements while it was here -- Company D, 1-506th Infantry Battalion. Though the units' exercises weren't technically linked, they did work in tandem on the same ranges to coordinate operations.
"It's great to train with Company D while at Knox because in a real-life combat scenario, these would be the Soldiers we would be working with and supporting," said Beeman.
The training was conducted at Fort Knox due to the lack of availability of Fort Campbell's ranges for this size of explosion. The unit has since identified two ranges at Fort Campbell where they will be able to conduct this type of training in the future to further perfect its technique.
According to Fort Knox Range Control, a MICLIC is made up of 1,750 pounds of C-4, making it the largest explosive by weight used in training on the installation. One MICLIC will detonate all mines in a 100 x 14 meter area.
Only about 10 MICLICs are used in training on Fort Knox throughout each year.
"It is the most destructive thing in our unit's inventory, and it's awesome," said Beeman.