• December 22, 2014

Fort Hood unit knocks down radio tower with C4 explosives

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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 8:22 am, Thu Jan 17, 2013.

TOPSEY — With one blow Wednesday, soldiers knocked down a 100-foot radio tower that had stood over grazing land for more than 50 years.

“We showed no mercy to this tower,” said an unidentified soldier with the 59th Mobility Augmentation Company, 8th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade.

He, along with several other soldiers, inspected the cuts to the steel structure after it came crashing to the ground.

To demolish the radio tower, which was constructed by the U.S. Army in the 1940s, the engineering company used three pounds of C4 explosives on two of the tower’s legs to cut through the steel piping.

After nearly a year of prep work, soldiers from the unit applied straddle charges on the structure and detonated the explosives, said Capt. Andrew Elliott, with the 59th Mobility Augmentation Company, which led the demolition.

“We let velocity and gravity bring it to the ground,” he said.

Fort Hood was asked to remove the unused radio tower from the property by the estate’s administrator, according to a news release from III Corps.

With the tower now toppled, parts will be recycled.

Elliot and 1st Sgt. Valente Ortiz said the demolition was a practical training exercise for soldiers in the company.

“We don’t get a training event like this very often,” Ortiz said.

This type of training is usually in the form of practice simulations, and soldiers rarely get hands-on experience with a demolished structure, said Cpl. Kenneth Forrester, who participated Wednesday.

“It is nice to get down to more of the conventional engineering stuff,” he said.

The company is expected to deploy to Afghanistan soon, and its primary mission will be to disarm roadside bombs and unexploded ordnance, said Sgt. Joseph Prinson.

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