Sapper hopefuls battle the elements

| February 24, 2012 | 0 Comments
Soldiers of the 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, work with C-4 explosives during the brigade’s Pre-Sapper train-up on East Range, Schofield Barracks, Feb 16.

Soldiers of the 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, work with C-4 explosives during the brigade’s Pre-Sapper train-up on East Range, Schofield Barracks, Feb 16.

65th Eng. Bn. trains hard in the rain

Story and Photo by
2nd Lt. Lauren Looper
65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — True to the adage, “If it ain’t raining, we ain’t training,” Soldiers from the 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, began their first day of patrolling at East Range, here, as part of the brigade’s pre-Sapper train-up in a steady rain, Feb. 16.

While the focus that day was on patrolling, Soldiers also participated in other advanced training to include a day at the demolitions range where they learned how to make charges and set them off.

Soldiers also practiced rappelling as part of mountaineering operations. All of these tasks are part of the Pre-Sapper course, a monthlong program offered to the brigade’s Soldiers, which prepares them to attend the 28-day Sapper Leader Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. There, they learn combat engineer tasks and leadership.

The school is divided into two phases: general studies and patrolling.

General studies covers a variety of tasks to include first aid, land navigation, demolition operations, air and water operations, and mountaineering. The patrolling phase is 14 days and comprised of a mix of engineer and infantry tactics.

Competition to get into the Sapper Leader Course is fierce; about 400 slots are available every year.

The 130th Eng. Bde. gets between 10-14 slots, annually, which are awarded based on performance during pre-Sapper training.

Only six Soldiers out of the 30 hopefuls who started the pre-Sapper class will be selected to attend the Sapper Leader Course.

“If they don’t get a slot within the next six months, it’s still good training,” said Spc. Tim Kielhmeier, pre-Sapper cadre, 130th Eng. Bde.

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