More pictures from AT 2003
Yeah, those are the shit eating grins of three juvenile delinquents all grown up and still playing with firecrackers. M80s and bottle rockets seem trite when you get to play with C4 and det cord by the truckload a couple times a year.
Playing with pipe bombs and not going to jail for it. here, a couple of guys experiment with putting the explosive on the outside of the pipe. Not that it makes sense or anything, but we had plenty of det cord left and had to do something with it.
Four man wire/mine obstacle breaching team.
Note, the WW2 era demo bags are not compatible with MDI components and we ended up using a custom made Kevlar lined soft briefcase I loaned them. After having used it to carry various explosives, I will be interested to see how it does as an airline carry-on bag in those newfangled bomb residue sniffing checkpoints.
In reality, there is a real need for a padded and ballistic protective bag for carrying MDI type blasting caps that do not fit in traditional cap carrier boxes.
Getting bad news on the radio. The escort services will not give a twenty man discount and the pizza delivery people need more than just a grid coordinate to make a delivery. As this young PFC is learning, no beer, no bitches and no barbeque tonight. This is the modern Army and not the good old days that uncle buck told you about.
Yep, nailed Expert for about the eigth year in a row. This time with a nifty new M4 Carbine.
Popping fuses on a test blast. The ground in this quarry proved to be resistant to all of the explosives we put into it. Even the big cratering charges made lackluster dents in the rock.
Hiding out in the target shed during one of the frequent Oregon rain storms, this one happening on rifle qual day.
The LT and one of the troops surveying the new digs. It is a boy scout camp with tents already in place on wooden platforms and pre-arranged fire pits - two luxuries that are almost unheard of on most military bases these days. Oh yeah, looking forward to that toasty campfire to dry out our soggy butts before hitting the rack. Something simple like a wood floored tent can make a rainy night in a bivvy bag quite tolerable instead of miserable.
When life can be good. A warm fire, good company, and plenty of food. This weekend had been hosted by the Boy Scouts, and they have maintained first class facilities which we were happy to use free of some of the BS regulations seen at most military installations. Much appreciated was the wood burning fireplace in the chow hall for drying out soggy uniforms.
Tools of the trade. The US military has largely phased out the use of TNT as a general purpose explosive. We also almost never use the old style electric demo systems. They have been replaced by MDI which usually comes prepackaged with attached blasting caps. The M14 (lower left) is a pre-cut section of time fuse with a high power cap, M11 (lower center) has a high powered cap on a length of shock cord (I think 15 ft) and the M15 has a lower powered cap on a spool of 500 feet of shock cord. Shock cord is safer to use than electrical systems and immune to all forms of electronic interference or countermeasures. It is also reliable under water when prepped above water (you can't splice it underwater and maintain the integrity of the system). One aim of the whole MDI system is to reduce the number of blasting caps used in demolitions and virtually eliminate the old safety sensitive practice of crimping blasting caps on fuse or det cord. MDI based explosive systems also generally will use less det cord to carry the explosive chain to different charges.