U.S. Army Engineer School’s year in review
The mission of the United States Army Engineer School is to synchronize and integrate the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities and policy to ensure the Engineer Regiment is prepared to provide engineer support now and into the future.
USAES has accomplished many things over the past fiscal year, two of which stand out: moving the Specialized Deliberate Breacher Course from Fort Hood to Fort Leonard Wood and training on the Rapidly Emplaced Bridge System.
Moving the SDBC
The Counter Explosive Hazards Center and USAES were tasked by Training and Doctrine Command to develop a SDBC in support of Headquarters Department of the Army’s directive to develop Subterranean Operations/Underground Facilities doctrine, conduct training and identify equipping requirements to improve Army-focused readiness in October 2017.
One of the outputs was the identification of 20 instructors from across the 1st Engineer Brigade to attend a rigorous train the trainer course in March 2018 in Kentucky provided by SbTO/UGF subject matter experts from U.S. Special Operations Command.
Fort Hood, Texas, was selected as the initial location to execute the training due to an existing underground training facility.
The range cadre and instructors then executed a pilot course in April, followed by 13 courses scheduled through November 2018. Each course accommodated up to 36 students with the total student load amounting to 477 students trained.
The course content focused on a breaching and threat overview in a subterranean environment, specialty equipment overview and utilization, breaching a UGF using mechanical, thermal and explosive methods, effects of breaching techniques, obstacles and environmental considerations.
Upon completion of the last course, the CEHC began the transition of the SDBC to Fort Leonard Wood. The first course was executed in April with a total of five courses to be executed in fiscal year 2019.
Improving SBCTs with REBs
USAES and Program Manager Bridging recently provided a mobile training team to provide Operator’s New Equipment Training and Field-Level Maintenance New Equipment Training to some units at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington.
Soldiers from the 23rd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 14th BEB and the 898th BEB received classroom and hands-on training on the REBs.
This piece of equipment was originally fielded to Engineer units some years ago. However, with other events going on in the world, units lost expertise in operating the REBs. Therefore, the JBLM commanding general contacted USAES to request assistance with retraining this critical bridging asset to JBLM units.
The Tank and Automotive Command’s Materiel Fielding and Training team were then tasked to provide assistance and expertise in training the REBs. The REBs provides critical gap crossing capabilities to Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.
This key training will provide Soldiers with continued education opportunities on the REBs through online initial and refresher training.
Additionally, the USAES constructed a new rappel tower for Sapper Leader Course, conducted Mine Clearing Line Charge live shots and provided environmental support to the Defense Environmental International Cooperation Program.
1st Engineer Brigade FY 2019 accomplishments
The 1st Engineer Brigade supports Fort Leonard Wood by training and developing combat ready Engineer and Ordnance warriors and leaders for the operating force. The brigade aims to be the premier training brigade in the United States Army — a confident and competent team of expert professionals dedicated to its mission. This fiscal year was remarkable for Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, and the 1st Engr. Bde. played a big part through many of its accomplishments.
Dec. 7 — Sgt. Hailey Falk, 39th Engineer Battalion, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, became the first female enlisted Soldier to graduate and earn the tab from the Sapper Leader Course.
Jan. 7 — The brigade’s first consolidated Combat Engineer Heavy Track Operator Course with the U.S. Marine Corps began. Instruction started with the M9 Armored Combat Earthmover phase.
Feb. 7 — The brigade supported the third iteration of pre-deployment training for the 21st Engineer Regiment elements deploying to train Iraqi Security Forces. It integrated leaders into the Engineer Basic Officer Leader Course demolition classes, trained equipment operators to support Acrow bridge construction and provided equipment familiarization, operation overview and maintenance support to the fleet of heavy construction equipment.
March 14 — In its second iteration of the Technical Engineer Field Training Exercise, the 169th Engineer Battalion conducted program-of-instruction training in a field environment while conducting warrior tasks and battle drills. The 554th Engineer Battalion integrated its first Engagement Skills Trainer 2000 training event and Army Combat Fitness Test familiarization.
April 5 — 1st Engr. Bde. and its partners were honored to lead and support regimental events during Engineer Regimental Week, from hosting and competing in the Lt. Gen. Robert B. Flowers Best Sapper Competition; memorializing and honoring our fallen Sappers; and executing a motivating Regimental Run with our Marine, Navy and Air Force brethren.
April 24 — 1st Engr. Bde. hosted a leadership team from the Australian Army to discuss bridging capabilities and how they can implement the necessary mobility assets.
April 25 — The brigade received the first wave of One Station Unit Training platoon leaders.
May 3 — The brigade had a great planning charrette and created a Range 33 Area Development Plan with members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District. The team was able to capture requirements and will produce planning documents and cost estimates to meet Training and Doctrine Command’s directed execution in Fiscal Year 2022.
July 31 — The brigade conducted an Assault Vehicle Launch Bridge berm defeat demonstration to provide partners with a better understanding of procedures for defeating berms and further developing the Joint Assault Bridge.
Aug. 19 — The brigade began construction on the 58th Transportation Troop Trail Project. The 554th Engr. Bn. provided a repair and renovation to the 3-mile trail.
Aug.28 — The brigade officially opened the new Sapper Rappel Tower. The tower comes equipped with 26 separate anchor points and provides Soldiers with lanes to train on a regular rappel, Aussie rappel, fast rope and rock climbing.
(Editor’s note: Both articles in this section were submitted to the GUIDON by the USAES and 1st Engineer Brigade, respectively. They are the third in an eight-week series.)