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'Black Knights' produce mission critical systems

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The Search and Recovery section of Company B, 204th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, mass produces Culvert Intrusion Denial Systems, a defense against improvised explosive devices, at Forward Operating Base Walton, here.

The system prevents the placement of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, inside of culverts, which are drains or waterways crossing under roads or bridges. Culvert Intrusion Denial Systems, or CIDS, help protect the civilian and military vehicles that are constantly traveling on those roadways. The systems have proven to be mission critical.

Pfc. Gregory Coxton plays a vital role in ensuring that the systems are produced in accordance with Combined Task Force Warhorse distribution priorities. Coxton produces four 38 inch CIDS monthly as opposed to the 25 inch by 4 inch systems produced by other civilian contractors. The main item used to produce the system is reinforcing bar, known as rebar. Every 38-inch CIDS needs 180 feet of rebar. In the production of the CIDS, it takes Coxton roughly a day and a half to have a system ready for installation into a culvert.

The CIDS produced by the Search and Recovery section is circular rather than the original design of the Dehart Culvert Denial System, which was square. This design was created by engineers who were previously deployed in Afghanistan.

"The bigger the Culvert Denial System, the more detail that goes into it," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gene Balderman. "Creating larger CIDSs ensures more proficiency and accuracy in protecting roadways from IEDs."

The system produced by Bravo Company is 80 pounds so it takes roughly four people to place the metal contraption inside the culvert.

The CIDS helps saves lives every day and that is what Coxton takes a lot of pride in. "The work that I have done with the CIDS will save lives of civilians and Soldiers, now and in the future," he said.

Article by Spc. Natasha Gaskins, 204th Brigade Support Battalion