FORT DRUM — It was a change of pace for the soldiers of the 630th Route Clearance Company, 7th Engineer Battalion, as they trained to breach an enemy compound with explosives Monday afternoon.
Rotations of soldiers, whose work primarily revolves around route clearance, moved toward the compound while shooting and receiving enemy fire. Getting to the compound, small groups of soldiers pressed themselves against an exterior wall at the side of the midsize building and provided security support as others placed linear explosive charges on a barrier at the front of the building.
The soldiers returned to their cover at the structure's side and set off the charges, creating a loud bang that pierced the air and shook the ground. With the barrier cleared, soldiers were able to easily enter and secure the building.
“Send about three people in the room, shoot the enemy, call it clear, come out, done,” Spc. Carrington L. Walrath said.
With the building secure, the soldiers fired a flare into the air to let nearby units know they had finished their work.
Combat engineer Sgt. Christopher L. Daley said training exercises like Monday's, done three or four times per year, help expand the soldiers' knowledge as they ready themselves for future conflicts.
“The training we're doing right now, we don't really do overseas, but it's good to know because we're a light infantry unit, and we need to know a lot of different information, a lot of different tasks,” he said.
The breaching training also served as an opportunity for soldiers to practice calling for medical assistance through a nine-line Medevac request, which codifies information like type of injury and location to better inform responders of what kind of care a soldier requires.
While making their approach to the compound, the soldiers worked around the possibility of a soldier getting hit by enemy gunfire, requiring them to call in for help.
Sgt. Daley said he also saw the importance of the training in developing the skills of newer soldiers.
“People come and go in the Army, and right now we got a lot of new guys that we got to train up from scratch, from day zero, pretty much, and we got to train them up to the experienced guys,” he said.
The route clearance company falls under the 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division.
Video of the training for the 630th Route Clearance Company can be found at http://wdt.me/Yg9SKq.