South Dakota Army National Guard Soldiers with the 211th Engineer Company train on the grenade range during the Golden Coyote exercise in Guernsey, Wyo., June 19, 2021. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Tyler O’Connell)
South Dakota Army National Guard Soldiers with the 211th Engineer Company train on the grenade range during the Golden Coyote exercise in Guernsey, Wyo., June 19, 2021. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Tyler O’Connell) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Tyler OConnell) VIEW ORIGINAL

GUERNSEY, Wyo. – The 211th Combat Engineer Company conducted training with demolition explosives and grenades during the Golden Coyote training exercise June 19.

Soldiers from the 211th honed their skills in C4, Bangalores, shape charges, cratering charges and grenades.

“Essentially, what we are is a breaching platoon,” said 2nd Lt. Christian Trainor, platoon leader for first platoon. “If there is concertina wire or any type of obstacle that we have to get through, then we use explosives to get through that obstacle.“

Soldiers prepare the explosives depending on the obstacle or mission, carry the explosives to the blasting zone, then prime the explosives.

“We have a main line that is made of detonating cord,” said Trainor. “Each Soldier brings their explosive and ties it into the main line. The knot that is used to tie to the main line is then taped to make sure it cannot be undone and has strong contact points to the main line.”

Each explosive is checked for proper placement and set up by team leaders, squad leaders and the platoon sergeant before a detonator can be connected to the main line.

“Once everything is checked, everyone then clears out,” said Trainor. “We then hook up a secondary time fuse and the primary detonator and will walk back to a safe standoff point. A Soldier will then pull the safety pin off the initiator, then twist and pull the initiator, which creates the explosion.”

Trainor said everyone gets pretty excited for demo day and that it is one of the biggest highlights of annual training.

“Blowing stuff up never gets old. Every time we come out here, it is always fun,” said Trainor. “It is something you don’t always do, and if you don’t use it, you lose it.”

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