14 August 2008

Strykers use MICLICs for route clearance in Diyala

Sgts. Troy Myers, 25, of Jamestown, Pa., right, and Ryan Leist, both combat engineers with the 84th Engineer Company, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment based in Vilseck, Germany prep a mine clearing line charge made of 1,600 pounds of C4 explosvie. The MICLIC, as it's called, explodes into a giant fireball to destroy explosives. All photos and story: Sean Kimmons / S&S

The MICLIC, a 100-meter long strand of C4 explosive, ready for use.

A rocket pushes the MICLIC down a road in southern Diyala province between Baghdad and Baquoba. This method of route clearance is unusual, but the road is so bomb-infested the Soldiers have been "treating it like a minefield," according to platoon leader 1st Lt. Trevor Needham.

The MICLIC explodes into a giant fireball, taking all the IEDs with it.

[Clearing the road] has been a time-consuming endeavor filled with unexpected bomb blasts. In three days, the platoon has cleared just a four-kilometer stretch. Four armored vehicles have been hit by roadside bombs. ...

Spc. Casey Watson found a roadside bomb the hard way — triggering it with his armored vehicle. The explosion destroyed the engine, blew the hood off and sent a tire 50 feet away.

"My ears were ringing and I had a slight headache," the 22-year-old Atlanta native said. "You know, I’m a soldier. I survived," he added with a grin.

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