From the 15th to the 17th of November 2016, 24 Field Squadron participated in live mine warfare training. This training initiative began in early spring 2016 and came to fruition this past week. As engineers mine warfare is considered to be our area of expertise, yet the opportunities to train on live anti-tank mines come few and far between. 2 CER was able to procure eleven live DM-21 anti-tank mines for this training and enough demolition stores to breach the mine field explosively.
The training was broken down into three days, each focusing on different elements of mine warfare. The training culminated with a day on the range breaching a live mine field. The first day was focused on reviewing the basics; mine characteristics, identifying types of minefields and the particulars of the in service anti-tank mine. The second day revolved around the section level drills and standard operation procedures (SOP). The sappers went over the inspection, laying, arming, disarming and camouflaging of the DM-21 anti-tank mine. The sections then challenged their refreshed breaching skills on an inert minefield. This allowed the section commanders to flesh out any changes to the sections’ SOPs. The sections then prepared their kit for the following day’s range.
The third day was the execution of the live range. The advanced party set out early to outline the minefield as well as lay out the breaching lanes. The troops arrived at the range and began their individual section breaches. Once a potential mine was found, the sappers followed their drills, confirmed the mine, excavated and disarmed the mines. Once all the mines in their lane were found, the sections placed the explosive charges on the mines in order to destroy them. The troops moved out of the danger template but within eye sight of the detonation to allow the soldiers to see the destructive power of an anti-tank mine.