Breaching operations: Recon Marines let themselves in
By Lance Cpl. Jonathan Sosner, II Marine Expeditionary Force
A shockwave ripped through the air as the Marines threw aside a Kevlar blanket, ready to make entry through the newly formed entry point. Marines with 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion learned techniques on how to effectively get through a locked door during a breaching exercise, at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, March 29-30, 2017.
The exercise focused on teaching the proper methods for gaining entry into a room with a locked door, primarily using explosive charges or shotguns.
“Anytime you’re inside a house or conducting a VBSS (Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure) mission, you can use the shotgun to blow the door off,” said Cpl. Shane Baldwin, a reconnaissance Marine with 2nd Recon. “We use these tactics particularly when we are trying to surprise the enemy.”
There are multiple jobs within the entry team that make breaching a door possible. The Marines practiced different aspects of these jobs to become more proficient and eliminate as much confusion as possible.
“As you go through a house you’re not going to keep your specific position,” Baldwin said. “I’m the point man, but the positions rotate when you get inside, so everyone must be able to successfully complete each job.”
Practicing breaching techniques in a low-stress environment is crucial to getting the fundamentals down, so when deployed, there is as little confusion as possible and the Marines can successfully complete the mission.
“Doing this now allows us to be a lot smoother with everything,” said Cpl. Peter Siaw, a radio operator with the unit. “Practicing setting up these charges now makes it a lot easier when we are trying to do it in the hull of a ship or downrange.”
Breaching a doorway is one of the many aspects involved in reconnaissance Marine operations. By perfecting these skills at home, they can be ready to fight in any environment, anywhere in the world, and at a moment’s notice.