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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 10. 23rd May 1973

Demolitions and Engineering — Part Three

page 15

Demolitions and Engineering

Part Three

Counter Insurgency Operations

In support of counter insurgency operations, the detachment commander and the combat engineer specialist will place primary importance on those actions designed to win the willing and active cooperation, assistance, and support of the people. In remote areas, where Special Forces detachments will normally operate, there may be a lack of sophisticated structures of any kind. The construction of buildings? may well be the assigned mission of the detachment, as opposed to combat operations. Extensive area studies conducted before commitment will reveal additional information on which to prepare plans and details of operations. In preparing for commitment, the engineer specialist will conduct extensive training and development in the field of expedient engineering that may include —
(1)Road expedients.
(2)Expedient crossings and bridges.
(3)Land clearing for framing.
(4)Construction of simple sanitation projects.
(5)Construction of lifting devices.
(6)Use of tools and materials for simple engineering.
(7)Training and advising indigenous construction and combat engineering units in general construction tasks and in the preparation of defensive fortifications for security of the local villages.

Expedient Engineering

Programs undertaken by Spec all Forces detachments up porting counter insurgency operations are called civic action or environmental improvement programs Special Forces detachments conducting military civic actions find that they are the contact, or go-between, for the local administration and the national government. In undertaking these programs and in assisting the local administration to satisfy the aspirations of the people, the Special Forces advisor helps create the image of a responsive and capable government. When this is accomplished, the opening for subversion diminishes.

149 Civic Actions

a.In assessing the capabilities of the units and minority groups advised, the Special Forces commander will propose military civic action projects in accordance with the overall counter insurgency plan and within the capability of the indigenous unitos. The Special Forces detachment commander must insure that the objectives of proposed environmental improvement programs will—
(1)Contribute to the betterment of the lives of the local populace.
(2)Gain the support, loyalty and respect of the people for the government and contribute, in some measure, to national development.
b.The Special Forces detachment undertaking civic action programs must evaluate each program from the standpoint of resources required to complete each task. Harvesting and road improvements, for example, may be undertaken by paramilitary units possessing little more than a labor pool and manpower. The detachment commander and his engineer specialist encourage their counterparts and local population to use local material and equipment as much as possible before requesting assistance from other U.S. support facilities. Where it is required, indigenous engineer troops may be used in tasks requiring a certain degree of skill; but, maximum use of trained personnel should be made from local units. Those tasks requiring pure labor should be relegated to the local villages on a self-help basis. These actions will provide the Special Forces detachment with immediate work on the project and still afford a degree of training to local engineer units to increase their skill levels.
c.In all environmental improvement programs undertaken. Special Forces personnel must insure that the local, indigenous soldier understands that his actions are accomplishing the following objectives:
(1)The soldier is learning his responsibility toward his community.
(2)On interchange of skills between soldier and civilian, there is an exchange of ideas and understanding that enhances national unity.
(3)A soldier learns skills which will be useful in his home village.
(4)Soldiers possessing special skills have the opportunity to increas these skills and prepare for future employment with local governments as well as with a higher administration.
Steel beam

Figure 26 Calculation for cutting steel I-beam.

Engineering diagram

Figure 27 Internal charge to cut timber.

Engineering chart

Table IV. Material Values of K Factor.

Construction Programmes

Special Forces detachment personnel may find it necessary to employ the technical skills and capabilities of engineer units of the host country forces for projects supporting environmental improvement programmes; however, the Special Forces detachment must adhere to fundamentals and avoid the more advanced techniques and procedures, particularly those that are not compatible with limitations of terrain. road nets, size of host forces, and mobility. Special Forces personnel will try to improvise when standard equipment is not available. The assessment and evaluation of units' and local villagers' capability and availability will dictate those projects to be undertaken. They may include —
a.General Construction Tasks: This may include rough carpentry; construction of drainage facilities with logs and stakes; construction of adobe buildings; rigging, and lashing techniques; and construction of small, water supply reservoirs.
b.Military Engineer Tasks: Here the emphasis will be on field fortifications and protection from direct weapons fire rather than blasts from heavy artillery and large explosives. Con siderations should be given to trench-type fortifications around fixed installations. Additionally, the Special Forces may assist in the preparation and use of—
1.Obstacles: Preferably antipersonnel obstacles as opposed to vehicular; installations of minefields and barbed-wire; construction of nuisance items such as heavy brush and impaling devices; construction of watch towers; and using natural obstacles to impede vehicular movement.
2.Booby traps. Improvised traps for warning devices; using selected items of clothing and equipment that would naturally appeal to an enemy; and antipersonnel mines employed in normal defensive positions.
3.Demolitions used to improve mobility of tracked vehicles by reducing steep banks, destruction of tunnels, and underground hiding places.
c.Specific Construction Projects:
1.Construction of bridges and ferries from natural materials.
2.Routes of communications which may include construction and improvement of roads, ditching, drainage, and temporary construction of air landing facilities.

Resources Control

Through extensive training and constant development of destructive techniques, the Special Forces detachment personnel learn the various materials and their many uses in making destructive devices. Through many extensive studies of their operational areas, they determine the availability of these materials to the local populations as well as the insurgent force. The Special Forces detachment commander is able to advise his counts experts on resources control measures to deny the insurgent access to such materials. The detachment commander must exploit all available means to help the local law enforcement agencies prevent essential resources from falling into the hands of the insurgent. The police and paramilitary forces in operational areas must be properly oriented and indoctrinated for this task.

a.In establishing requirements for resources control, priorities must be assigned to specific items to be denied the insurgent. Restrictions on certain items may be injurious to the attitude of the population, such as control of fertilizer in a primarily agrarian area. Two methods may be employed in controlling materials—
1.Price regulation.
b.Additional controls must be employed for materials that can be used as expedient in manufacturing improvised explosives. Adequate control of these items will depend upon properly trained, security personnel positioned at the production and distribution facilities for these sensitive items.
1.Physical security. Physical security should include check points for searching personnel and vehicular traffic entering and leaving installations; detection devices for certain items that react to electronic devices; clothing change points requiring personnel to shower and change clothes on entering or leaving installations.
2.Personnel security. Personnel security is more difficult; however. Special Forces personnel, working in close conjunction with local police and security elements, may instigate a personnel security investigation to insure that personnel selected for work are reasonably clear of implications with known insurgent members. Additional procedures may be —
a.Planting informers.
b.Offers of rewards for information.
c.Planting of erroneous information concerning activities.
d.Surveillance of after-duty-hour activities.
c.The use of resources control measures is sensitive and must be carried out with utmost discretion. Infringement upon the rights of the local population, through violence or needless oppression, will lose the population to the insurgent. Local law enforcement agencies should be closely supervised at all time during the operation.
Engineering diagram

Figure 28 Value of C (tamping factor).

Metric Calculations


The following metric formulas may be used for demolition projects when working with personnel familiar with the metric system. Use of metric formulas and construction and placement of charges are the same as for U.S. Corps of Engineer formulas and charges. Since the formula results give kilograms of TNT, the relative effectiveness of other explosives must be considered. For demolition formulas see FM 5—25, or Demolition Card (GTA 5—10—9).

Add 10 percent to a calculated charge of less than 22.5 kilograms.

1.Breaching radius. The breaching radius (R) is the distance in meters which an explosive charge must penetrate and within which all material is displaced or destroyed. For example, if it is desired to break a 2-meter concrete wall by placing a charge on one side then the value of R, in the formula Kg = 16 R3KC is 2.
2.Material factor (table IV). The values of material (K) for various types of construction are given in the following tables.
3.Tamping factor. The value of the tamping factor depends on the location and the tamping of the charge. No charge is fully tamped unless it is covered to a depth equal to the breaching radius.
1.Number of charges. For calculations to determine the number of charges, see FM 5—25.

Atomic Demolition Munition


ADM is employed in conformance with tactical requirements of the assigned mission to reduce the tactical mobility of the enemy and to deny the use of key facilities such as bridges, industrial facilities, and power plants; however casualties among civilian personnel, destruction of man made and natural terrain features, and the creation of areas of high intensity, residual radiation may cause adverse political effects as well as create obstacles to friendly movement. Destruction and contamination is held to a minimum consistent with military necessity.