Photo Gallery | Sledgehammer Brigade Uses Speed and Power to Overcome Obstacles
FORT BENNING, GA - Hammer Focus continued at Fort Benning, Ga., with 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division Soldiers overcoming obstacles to reach their training objective.
Sledgehammer’s Company D, 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment used an M1A2 Abrams tank equipped with a mine plow and engineers from the Brigade Special Troops Battalion to breach a path through a mine obstacle reinforced with concertina wire during the breach training exercise Nov. 1.
“It’s a return to force-on-force combat,” said Sgt. First Class Steve Vickers. “This is the type of fight we were training for pre-9/11.”
Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment played the role of opposition forces and defended the final objective. A smoke platoon and two OH-58D helicopters augmented Destroyer Company.
The mock opposing force opened fire on the tanks as they approached the obstacle, alerting the tankers that enemy forces were watching. The tanks then backed up to a position where they could not be seen and called the smoke platoon to block the enemies’ view.
A thick cloud of smoke filled the air within seconds. With the breach force obscured from the view of the enemy, Company D emerged from the smoke with a mine-plow equipped tank to clear the way while two Bradley Fighting Vehicles provided security, one on each side.
Engineers then emerged from another Bradley to mark the beginning of the breach lane, the left hand side and the end of the lane with large construction cones. Marking the lane ensures everyone who follows behind knows where to drive without triggering any mines.
The remainder of Destroyer Company assaulted through the mine field and took care of the enemy on the objective as follow-on forces drove through the breached obstacle path.
“This whole thing is like an orchestra,” said Vickers. “All these moving parts, coming together to make one sound. That’s how the mission is accomplished.”