Army Sgt. John McSorley, counter IED trainer mentor with 1st Battalion, 307th Infantry Regiment prepares a simulated pressure plate IED for use on the Dismounted IED Visual Indicator Lane.
By Ian Lumley, Matthew Brady and William Fisher
174th Infantry Brigade Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Integration Cell
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- A major part of training service members for combat revolves around countering the insurgent’s use of improvised explosive devices. IEDs remain the weapon of choice for terrorists, insurgents and criminal networks worldwide.
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., serves as a mobilization training center for First Army Division East with the mission of preparing joint forces for military operations in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and other active conflict areas around the world. A great deal of time and effort is devoted to training service members how to operate effectively in an IED environment.
“Before they go to an active area of operations, they need to know what to look for,” said Army Sgt. John McSorley, 174th Infantry Brigade Counter-IED trainer mentor. “The DIVIL is a great way to expose troops to multiple scenarios and increase IED awareness overall.”
The latest joint base training enabler, the DIVIL, or Dismounted IED Visual Indicator Lane, encompasses 15 independent IED training stations. Each station provides information concerning a specific type of IED and provides multiple examples of the IED as it may appear in an active IED environment. The intent is to expose service members to as many devices as possible to increase potential survivability, according to McSorley.
He went on to explained that training lanes have progressed from being a simple walk in the woods where an opposing force sets off training devices and simulates gunfire. During the last 10 years training enablers have increased in complexity and changed how service members train for deployment. Training enhancements such as the Virtual Battle Space Simulator is an example of how training has evolved to assist service members preparing for missions in an IED environment. The increased realism and reduced cost from less wear and tear on traditional field equipment has proved an effective enhancement at the joint base.
“Building the lane is an ongoing project,” said McSorley. “Our goal is to continuously update the exhibits and tailor the site towards multiple areas of operations and keep current with the latest tactics being used by the enemy.”
The DIVIL is a joint project between the 174th and installation entities. Soldiers assigned to the 174th used their skills and experience to build realistic representations of IEDs and 174th maintains project oversight. The Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security provided and maintains the terrain, while the Training Management Division assists with work orders.
In keeping with the Army Training Model 2015, which stresses the importance of hands on training, instructors take students out of the classroom and onto automated with fully-operational simulated IEDs active lanes. Students encounter hidden IEDs along the lane, which reinforces the training they receive.
Instead of a blast, the IEDs are connected to a siren or horn to simulate a blast.
“The DIVIL affords us a more productive learning environment, and constant lane improvements will keep training relevant,” said McSorley. “We are working on putting together a marine-time station to demonstrate threats Coast Guard and Navy personnel may encounter.”
The 174th IN Bde., trains service members from all branches of the military in preparation for deployments around the world. This newly redesigned lane allows them to train any unit for any area of conflict.