BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — It was about noontime Thursday when the noise boomed through town, startling a number of residents who are home under the governor's orders.
The loud booms were from explosions from military training exercises at Fort Custer.
The 1433rd Engineering Company was doing combat engineering training, said USAF Capt. Andrew Layton, a public affairs officer for the Michigan National Guard. Members of the company are military specialists and combat engineers who handle the clearing and detonating of passage ways for military vehicles.
Soldiers in the unit, also called Sappers, are trained to breach fortifications, complete demolitions, build bridges, lay or clear minefields, prepare field defenses, as well as working on road and airfield construction and repair. A Sapper is derived from a French term meaning to dig under a wall or building to cause it to collapse. Two Sapper companies remain in Michigan, the 1431st engineering company, based in the Upper Peninsula city of Calumet, and the 1433rd engineering company of Fort Custer.
The training exercises at Fort Custer were scheduled to continue Friday.