Home' Army News : October 25th 2012 Contents EXPLORE THE
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Army October 25, 2012
Spc Nevada Jack Smith
SOLDIERS know and accept
the risk they expose themselves
to every day and understand the
consequences. For combat engi-
neers, that level of danger is often
The sappers serving with the
3RAR Task Group in Afghanistan
have a myriad of jobs, including
bridge building, demolitions and
mobility support. The most dangerous
job, however, is high-risk search.
High-risk search engineer Spr
Christopher Blair said with the preva-
lence of IEDs in Afghanistan, com-
bat engineers had become a critical
asset for the International Security
"Without engineers serving as
mobility support we wouldn't be able
to get where we need to safely," Spr
A decade of war in Afghanistan
has seen an evolution in the way con-
ventional forces fight an insurgency.
The Coalition leadership relies on
engineers to deny the enemy resourc-
es by finding hidden caches.
Spr Benjamin McDonald said
bomb makers cached IEDs for insur-
gents to take later and place in the
"They will also cache their weap-
ons after they shoot at Coalition forc-
es," Spr McDonald said.
"We try to find those caches so
they can't use those resources."
Hunting for deadly devices
High-risk searchers use a variety
of equipment, but the most valuable
tool the engineers have doesn't run on
batteries -- it is one of flesh and blood.
"A lot of searching is through your
eyes, not just your equipment," Spr
Spr McDonald found his first
cache on September 7 during a clear-
ance operation in Uruzgan province.
"I found IED components and an
ammunition cache," he said.
"Finding that stuff made me feel
awesome. I was really happy."
Spr Andrew Essery said the
searchers had good reason to be high-
"Finding those bombs is a big
reward really because you are protect-
ing your mates," he said.
Risky but rewarding: LCpl Phillip Dugen takes a break during Operation
Kalak Hode 5, a major clearance operation in Uruzgan province on
September 7, while, above left, Spr Benjamin McDonald uncovers a
buried battery during the operation.
Photos by Spc Nevada Jack Smith
Engineer search and clearance in Uruzgan is a high-risk job
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