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Polish, US engineers train on demolition tactics

By Spc. Andrew McNeil | 22ND MOBILE PUBLIC AFFAIRS DETACHMENT | December 08, 2017

ZAGAN, Poland — A thunderous boom rang out as the combination of plastic explosives and TNT, planted in the earth, erupted violently hurling fragments of soil into the air. The explosion shook the ground under the Soldiers’ feet, bringing smiles to their faces.

     The planned explosion was initiated by Polish soldiers assigned to the 2nd Engineer Battalion, 5th Engineer Regiment, and U.S. Soldiers with the 82nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. Both units participated in a 13-day training event called Bull Eagle at the Drawsko Pomorskie training area near Oleszno, Poland Nov. 19.

     “We are out here with a Polish engineer company which has one sapper platoon and one (explosive ordnance disposal) platoon,” said 2nd Lt. Richard Irwin and platoon leader, 82nd BEB. “We are using their training and tactics to see the similarities between our own tactics.”

     The 2nd ABCT assures NATO allies and deters aggression by demonstrating and sustaining maximum proficiency and readiness in its warfighting functions, tasks and drills by conducting training with U.S. allies and partners. Proficiency in tasks and drills is attained gradually said Irwin.

     “The first few days we would train with fake demolition, and they (the Polish soldiers) would show us their way of doing things,” said Pfc. Jhovany Huizar, a combat engineer assigned to the 82nd BEB. “Then the next day we would use live explosives.”

      The main focus of Bull Eagle was the use of explosive methods and tactics to disable tracked vehicles.

      “One of the days we did mines,” Huizar said. “We broke off into two teams (comprising Polish and U.S. Soldiers) and trained the Polish way of digging, marking and placing the anti-tank mines.”