Soldiers of the 9th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, completed a combined arms training exercise last week named "Gila Focus." The exercise tested unit readiness, and prepared 2nd Battalion, 69th Armored Regiment, 2ABCT, for their upcoming "Panther Focus," at Fort Stewart, Ga., Oct. 8, 2019.

9BEB joined forces with 2-69 AR to conduct a breach and allow their vehicles and troops to advance forward on the battlefield, simulating crossing a body of water.

"The concept is to train the maneuver forces along with the engineer forces on a combined arms breach. 2-69 AR provides support by fire and obscuration allowing for our engineers to move forward and remove any mined obstacles, bridging a wet gap and destroying a wire obstacle," said Capt. Christopher Kletzien, Commander, A Co., 9 BEB.

Spc. Martin Romo, 9BEB, said that clearing the mined obstacle required the use of the Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC) which is fired from an Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV).

"The MICLIC fires up to 100 meters with charged explosives attached to the wire that upon landing can cause a chain reaction to create an 8-meter gap to allow for infantry and armored vehicles to pass," said Romo.

Sgt. Motice Turner, 9BEB Team Leader, says that's where the explosive "Bangalores" come in.

"The Bangalores which are primarily used to clear wired obstacles can be interconnected with another Bangalore depending on what we need to move," said Turner.

After the breach, they completed training with a movement through the obstacle.

Kletzien added, "The biggest challenge was being able to capitalize on the opportunity to synchronize engineers with a maneuver force together and working through the different challenges, tactics, techniques, and procedures. You learn what the other unit is thinking and doing thus being able to predict their next action the more we train together."