Unmanned Technology: Breaching the Battlefield with the Brits

An M58 Wolf is remotely controlled to release a cloud of smoke in preparation for a Robotic Complex Breach Concept demonstration. Army courtesy photos

By Army Spc. Hubert Delany, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

U.S. soldiers, Marines, Department of Defense civilians, and troops from the United Kingdom observed and tested a series of unmanned, remote-controlled ground vehicles during a combined training event at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, April 2, 2018.

The training event was conducted in preparation for a larger demonstration of unmanned capabilities, called the Robotic Complex Breach Concept.

“Being able to take soldiers out of harm’s way and accomplish the mission is very an attractive option to any commander,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jesse Curry, commander of the 82nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. “It’s a capability that the enemy will not know how to counteract when we implement it. This type of technology enables us to stretch further while conserving resources.”

The military-vehicle mounted Automated Direct and Indirect Mortar, the M58 Wolf Smoke Generator, and the ‘Terrier’ armored digger were some of the existing technologies used throughout the exercise. All were outfitted with new technology that allows them to be remotely controlled.

U.K. Lance Cpl. Tom Alexander (center), a combat engineer with the U.K. 22nd Engineer Regiment, 8th Engineer Brigade, shows U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jesse Curry (left) and Capt. Nick Hyde, both with the 82nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, how to remotely operate a Terrier armored digger during a multinational joint equipment training exercise

“This has been a great opportunity to show each other how to work on new systems, as well as each other’s systems,” said British Army Staff Sgt. Joe Ferries, a combat engineer with the U.K. 22nd Engineer Regiment, 8th Engineer Brigade. “All the lessons learned here are going to have massive benefits for our armies and the next mission.”

Ferries, who supervised a portion of the training, said he believes this kind of training is a natural part of improving any military.

“This training its quite relevant,” said Ferries. “We will always have to compare and improve our procedures and technologies.”