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Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE)

The Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE) is a lightweight, all-wheel-drive, diesel-engine-driven, high-mobility vehicle with a backhoe, a bucket loader, and other attachments such as a handheld hydraulic rock drill, a chain saw, and a pavement breaker. The SEE weighs over 16,000 pounds, is air transportable, can travel at speeds of more than 40 miles per hour on improved roads, and has limited off-road mobility. The SEE is used to rapidly dig combat emplacements such as crew-served weapon positions, command posts, and individual fighting positions. The high mobility of the SEE provides an earthmoving machine capable of rapid movement between battle positions.

The SEE is basically a backhoe and small front bucket attached to a pick-up truck. The excavator can be used to aid grunts in creating trenches, digging trash ditches, or preparing ground for underground pipelines. It's usefulness is only governed by the imagination of the operator and his supervisor. It is also equipped with a hydraulic chainsaw and jackhammer.

The High Mobility Engineer Excavator (HMEE) will replace the Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE), currently in the Army's inventory. The SEE is reaching the end of its intended life cycle and was not designed to meet the requirements of medium to heavy forces.

In the past, the Army has not been greatly concerned with snow removal over lines of communication or at support/staging areas. As a result, no engineer vehicles are specifically outfitted to move snow. Existing engineer equipment, such as the SEE with a front-end loader or the Armored Combat Earthmover (ACE) with its bulldozer blade, will not move snow efficiently. Given current events and the winter deployment of troops to Bosnia, engineer equipment that can be outfitted to plow snow has been identified as a requirement by HQ, V Corps and HQ, USAREUR.

Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory [CRREL] obtained a snowplow designed and manufactured for the SEE by the Schmidt Engineering & Equipment Company. The plow mounts fairly easily to a SEE without any need for modification, and was demonstrated and evaluated on hard surface and gravel roads, trails, and on a field at the U.S. Army/Vermont National Guard Ethan Allen Firing Range training area in Jericho, Vermont. Average snow depth was 8 inches; a 2-foot berm was also plowed. The plow assembly weighs 215 pounds more than the unloaded bucket loader assembly. This weight difference did not seem to affect vehicle performance. It was found that the bucket hydraulic controls should be operated in float position and the trip edge may need to be periodically reset (by lifting the blade) when plowing on rough surfaces. If plowing cross-country terrain containing frozen tuft grass or similar obstructions, the plow should be kept three to four inches above the ground.

Characteristics: Light weight, all wheel drive
Crew: 1 operator
40 mph (+) road speed
Air transportable (c130 & larger)
Hydraulic attachments for rock drill, pavement breaker, chain saw, auger
Major systems: front mounted light-weight bucket; rear mounted backhoe
Planning factors: 6 per mech eng bn
Two-man fight positions: 30 min
Crew-serve positions: 1 hour
Mobility: Construct/ maintain combat
Fill craters, ditches
Airfield repair
Countermobility: Construct point obstacles
Cut/dig/bore holes, etc. To
Support countermobility
Survivability: Construct individual and
Crew -served fighting positions
Dig trenches, tocs, and other
Protective emplacements

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:48:17 ZULU