ZAGAN, Poland -- Combat Engineers from, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, conduct live-fire explosives training at Joanna range, here, March 6, 2019.
"Today we're conducting confidence blasts as well as familiarization with C-4," said Staff Sgt. Jaime Ratledge, Operations Sergeant for Bravo Company, 1st Eng. Bn., 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. "We want to make sure that our Soldiers are confident with demolition."
These Combat Engineers got the chance to apply their trade, including knot technique practice and C-4 explosive assembly. The battalion's obstacle clearance operations shook the ground.
"Fire in the hole, fire in the hole, fire in the hole!" shouted Pfc. Isaac Terry, a combat engineer with B-Co., 1st Eng.Bn, 1st ABCT, 1St Inf. Div. "I learned a couple different knots, I learned new information about the British junction [knot] and time fuses."
During the all-day training Soldiers practice the steps from start to finish.
"The Soldiers move out and set up their ring main," said Ratledge. We'll attach the blocks of C-4 to the ring main then return back to our foxhole and detonate it."
Safety is paramount during explosives training. Soldiers hunker down in a foxhole and wait for detonation, in order to avoid the intense shock waves and potential shrapnel. Soldiers train to build confidence with demolition and typically hold live "demo days" like today, at least every six months.
"It was definitely an exhilarating experience and something I want to do again, coming out here and being able to perform, instead of reading it in a book." said Terry.
The Devil Brigade is part of more than 6,000 U.S. regionally-allocated Soldiers in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, on a nine-month rotation, in support of Atlantic Resolve.