By Staff Sgt. Armando LimonSeptember 1, 2017
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS - Soldiers and Marines made more than just a loud bang as they breached doors and other targets on the ranges, here, Aug. 29-31.
Combat Engineers from the 29th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, worked with Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, based out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe Bay.
"The purpose of this training is to bring the Marine unit attending to a proficiency level at conducting urban breaching using demolition and shotguns," said 1st Lt. Alan Verdin, route clearance platoon leader assigned to the 29th BEB.
About 15 Soldiers provided invaluable training to the 25 Marines on breaching targets with shotguns and demolition charges.
"One of the key tasks of the Engineers is to provide mobility for maneuver commanders and units," said Verdin. "Like all battlefields urban areas have their own set of obstacles that require specialized training and tools to navigate through. The purpose of this training is to become proficient in conducting breaching in an urban environment using demolition and weaponry such as shotguns."
"The Marines have been exceptionally professional and helpful to work with," he continued. "Last week we sent two NCOs to their Shotgun qualification. Even though we work on the same island traditionally, we have not worked together much. Hopefully, we can continue training together and strengthen both units."
Second Lt. Charles Simpson, weapons platoon commander, Co. F, 2nd Bn, 3rd Marine Regt. stated the intent of the training is just to get Marine assaultmen experience with urban breaching.
"Basically we're blowing the hinges and the doorknobs off of these doors that we're setting up right now," Simpson said. "So we're using the Benelli and Mossberg shotguns, and we're using detonation cord at this particular range."
For the ballistic breach, a special breaching cartridge was used by both Marine and Army shotguns.
The Marines were introduced with the Army's M26 shotgun, specifically designed for urban breaching.
"I think (the M26) was a lot better than using the Benelli or the Mossberg," said Sgt. Tyrell Bennett, an assaultman, Co. F, 2nd Bn, 3rd Marine Regt. "The Mossberg is pretty good, but the M26 surpasses both of those in handling."
Bennett said he found the combat engineers very knowledgeable and easy to work with.
"They have their own (standard operating procedures) and sometimes incorporating them can be hard, but essentially we call everything the same thing. The best thing from the training is probably moral and it refreshed my current knowledge.
Spc. Rogelio Rodriguez, a combat engineer assigned to the 29th BEB, one of the Soldiers leading the ballistic breach for the Marines said he enjoyed working with those from other services.
Rodriguez also provided helpful input on how to plan and form the appropriate demolition charges against harden, metal doors to the Marines.
"I've trained with the Marines before," he said. "They're really good people to train with. I had one past experience where we did field expedient charges and we got to build like grape shots, bangalores and etc. It's really interesting because when they come over they like to learn and they get a great knowledge out of us."