Soldiers from A Company, 41st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, spent several hours Jan. 31 clearing snow from Division Hill in preparation for a 10th Mountain Division command post training exercise. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
Engineers clear battlespace for training exercise on Division Hill
Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Jan. 31, 2022) – It’s been weeks since Fort Drum’s Division Hill has been anything but a snow-covered landscape, but that is about to change.
Soldiers from A Company, 41st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, spent several hours Jan. 31 clearing the battlespace in preparation for a 10th Mountain Division command post training exercise.
Staff Sgt. Eric Vanstrander, squad leader, said that their task was to clear an area approximately the size of three football fields for the exercise. To do that, they brought out the High-Mobility Engineer Excavator and the 2.5-cubic yard bucket loader to do the heavy lifting.
“The ground right now is frozen, but we’re getting it done,” he said. “Like the engineers motto says, ‘We clear the way.’”
There was some light snowfall while they worked, and more significant weather is expected later this week.
“We might have to come back again out to do some re-clearing,” Vanstrander said.
Additionally, Soldiers from B Company will return to the site to lay hundreds of iron pickets into the ground to surround the area in concertina wire before the exercise commences at the end of February.
First Lt. Danielle Peck, battalion plans officer, said that as a division asset, they provide a variety of engineer support to include digging, maneuvering and other types of sustainability and survivability operations.
Although there’s no guarantee the weather will cooperate with the Soldiers during the training, the engineers are making it a little easier to get around.
“The support we can provide the division will allow them greater maneuverability during their training exercise so they can have a successful mission,” Peck said.