Paratroopers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, recently trained to clear minefields in a flash and with a boom.
Engineers from Alpha and Bravo companies, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion (AEB) trained to breach complex obstacles and provide assured mobility of the 3rd BCT on Fort Bragg, Aug. 18.
They accomplished this by firing a live Mine-Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC).
“The MICLIC provides the capability to clear an 8–by100 meter path through a mine obstacle in minutes,” said. Maj. Christopher Pierce, the 307th AEB Executive Officer.
The MICLIC is a rocket-propelled line charge containing over 1,750 pounds of explosives capable of breaching minefields emplaced by enemy forces.
Once launched, the charges explode, detonating or pushing away any buried mines nearby and clearing a path for vehicles and personnel to travel through.
“This capability allows the brigade’s maneuver forces to maintain momentum through the obstacle to reach their objectives,” said Pierce.
Though many inert MICLICs are fired on Fort Bragg, this was the first live one fired in over 20 years. Coordination for the ranges began in March and required the occupation of four ranges and numerous road guards controlling fire-breaks leading into the area, said Pierce.
“Conducting an explosive clearance of an obstacle with a MICLIC is a lost talent that is not often trained on due to the difficulty obtaining the required land and live demolitions,” said Pierce. “This opportunity provides the training and repetitions needed to ensure the Sapper companies are trained and prepared to execute this task.”