29th BEB conducts battalion FTX

| February 6, 2015 | 0 Comments
Pfc. John Paul Rodriguez, a cook assigned to Echo Company, 29th BEB, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, organizes food for the evening chow line at Area X during the FTX, Jan. 22. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Pfc. John Paul Rodriguez, a cook assigned to Echo Company, 29th BEB, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, organizes food for the evening chow line at Area X during the FTX, Jan. 22. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Sgt. Brian C. Erickson
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The smell of diesel engines, boots covered in mud, dirty uniforms and Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) were just everyday occurrences as the 29th Brigade Engineer Battalion, “Wayfinders,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, conducted a battalion Field Training Exercise (FTX), here, Jan. 20-28.

This was the first field exercise in recent years that has involved at least a portion of each section of the entire battalion.

Pfc. Martin Reyes, assigned to Alpha Co., 29th BEB, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, operates a D6 Dozer to dig a rectangle-cut anti-tank ditch during the FTX, Jan. 22. The dozer continues to dig until the ditch is 6-feet deep. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Pfc. Martin Reyes, assigned to Alpha Co., 29th BEB, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, operates a D6 Dozer to dig a rectangle-cut anti-tank ditch during the FTX, Jan. 22. The dozer continues to dig until the ditch is 6-feet deep. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

“This is the first time in awhile that we as a whole battalion are able to deploy all our sections to the field in some fashion,” said Lt. Col. Michael Binetti, commander, 29th BEB, 3rd BCT, 25th ID.

For the duration of the exercise, the battalion was spread out across Area X-ray and the East Range.

On Area X, the 29th BEB had its battalion Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and its Forward Support Company (FSC), which allowed the BEB to feed the Soldiers hot breakfast and dinner meals, daily.

According to the Wayfinder commander, the hot chow was not only good for the Soldiers’ morale, but it also allowed the Soldiers in the FSC to define and perfect their perishable skills set.

Over on East Range, the engineers were hard at work preparing a defensive posture, which was the biggest mission of the exercise, and was very similar to what they would do in a combat situation.

Soldiers from 29th BEB, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, pound a stake in place to hold concertina wire for a Triple Strand C-Wire barrier on the East Range during the FTX, Jan. 22. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Soldiers from 29th BEB, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, pound a stake in place to hold concertina wire for a Triple Strand C-Wire barrier on the East Range during the FTX, Jan. 22. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

The defensive posture was made up of several obstacles designed to get the enemy right where the infantry wanted them. In order to create such obstacles, Soldiers used High-Mobility Engineer Excavators (HMEE) and D6 Dozers to dig, haul and dump dirt in strategic locations.

One of the most important obstacles the engineers built was a rectangle cut anti-tank ditch, which was 6 feet deep.

“The anti-tank ditch is pretty much designed to stop all incoming vehicles, limiting the use of VBIDS (Vehicular Bourne Improvised Explosive Devices) and get the enemy moving on foot,” said Capt. Robert Putnam, commander, Alpha Company, 29th BEB, 3rd BCT, 25th ID.

The engineers also built triple strand concertina-wire barrier, anti-personnel ditches, mortar pits and machine gun pits within a 72 hour period.

“Everything we built is to make the enemy move to wherever the infantry needs them to be,” said Putnam.

On the 26th, the battalion made the transition to Kahuku Training Area (KTA) and switched from the defensive posture to the offensive where they conducted training on

Soldiers from 29th BEB, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, lift concertina wire onto post as they construct a barrier known as a Triple Strand C-Wire on East Range during the FTX, Jan. 22. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Soldiers from 29th BEB, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, lift concertina wire onto post as they construct a barrier known as a Triple Strand C-Wire on East Range during the FTX, Jan. 22. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

suppressing the enemy, reacting to direct and indirect fire and learning how to operate in a combat zone more effectively, similar to their infantry brethren.

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Category: Exercises, News, Training

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