Training prepares SWAT teams for explosive building entry

Explosive Breacher

BRYAN, TEXAS – SWAT team members and military personnel from across Texas and other states learned this week to safely use explosives to gain entry to a building — training that could be put to the test to rescue hostages or apprehend a barricaded suspect.

The public safety officers practiced making explosive breaches on a variety of doors, after calculating the least amount of explosives they could use to make the dynamic entry. They then used what they learned to enter a building and perform a “rescue” in a hostage scenario.

The weeklong training in “Explosive Breacher Entry” is conducted twice a year by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) on the Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Demolition Range at the RELLIS Campus in Bryan. Training is conducted by explosives training experts with TEEX’s Institute for Law Enforcement and Protective Services Excellence.

“This class is designed to provide SWAT teams with another tool in their toolbox, so if they are ever confronted with an incident where they have to make a dynamic entry into a building, they can never be stopped,” said TEEX Instructor Chris Ennis, who also serves as a Delaware State Police Sergeant. Participants take extensive notes and the knowledge they have learned back to their home departments, he added.

Besides Explosives & Ordnance Training (EOT) for law enforcement tactical entry operations, TEEX offers training for public safety bomb technicians and explosives specialists on identification and response to military ordnance calls. TEEX also offers the first and only civilian Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Technician I course certified by the Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board. Hands-on training is conducted at specially designed facilities at the RELLIS Campus.