CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait -- The 511th Engineer Dive Detachment conducted land certification training, Feb. 10, 2017, Udari Training Area, Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

The training event tested the Soldiers use of hand grenades, shock tubes, timed fuses, Composition 4, M14 rifle and M249 machine gun. The land certification allows the detachment to transition into the demolition of a sea vessel, which is lying on the bottom of the sea floor.

"A requirement with our mission essential task list is to train underwater demolition," said Cpt. William Guinther, 511th Eng. Dive Det. Commander. "To do this we must certify our leaders on land, conducting land demolition."

Guinther, native of Thomaston, Mass., also stressed balancing technical and tactical skills using troop leading procedures during the exercise.

"Diver competencies starts on land," he said. "If you can't weld on land, you can't weld underwater. If you can't set demolitions on land, you can't set demolition underwater. Challenges of the environment are only external, and if the fundamentals are not mastered, a diver will not be effective."

The tactical range consisted of a live fire exercise and unit level TLP functions. Once the unit transitioned into a non-tactical range, the focus shifted to still-cutting explosive charges using Composition 4. Charges were also placed on sheet metal, simulating cutting a vessel hull.

"Our mission today included demolition of a simulated bridge section," said Sgt. Christopher Miller, diver, 511th Eng. Dive Det. from Middleberry, Ind. "The field training exercise we conducted in the rear lead up to this moment, bringing the team together."

As discussed among the leaders of the 511th Eng. Dive Team, the land certification gave them a clear picture of the proficiencies of their soldiers. It is through this knowledge they can assess their team's strengths and weaknesses and can formulate a corrective plan of action.

"At times like this you refer back to all the training you have completed, giving one the inspiration to complete the task," said Spc. Matthew Barton, diver, 511th Eng. Dive Detach., and native of Fort Eustis, Va.

With their training completed on land, Soldiers from the 511th Eng. Dive Det. move onward toward their next mission, which is at the sea. With time as their only obstacle remaining, this team stands ready to keep America safe.