By Lance Cpl. Aaron K. Fiala, II Marine Expeditionary Force
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, conducted an improvised explosive device access training exercise at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 29. Instructors evaluated Marines on their abilities to safely locate and dispose of an IED while suppressing the full capabilities of the threat.
Marines received information about a situation where an eye-witness reported a potential IED. The EOD technicians then searched the surrounding area for additional threats as a safety precaution.
“The purpose of this training is to familiarize everybody with the different styles of devices,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Graham, a team leader with the unit.
All of the simulated IED situations that EOD technicians conducted were based off real-world situations, explained Graham.
Marines used an MK-2 Mod 1 Talon robot to assess the situations and identify possible explosives before sweeping the area with an IED detector. The MK-2 robot allows Marines to get visuals on a threat without endangering themselves.
“By doing these types of real world scenarios, it is going to make more capable EOD technicians that are able to respond to any sort of explosive hazard,” said Graham.
After the area was deemed secure from enemy presence, Marines used a Percussion Actuated Neutralizer connected by non-electric shock tube to safely destroy the threat. This device is used to fire a special type of 12-gauge shell with water to dispose of an IED by shattering and dispersing the contents of the pipe bomb IED.
Marines then gathered the contents of what was left of the IED to determine what substances were used and learn how the enemy planned to detonate their IED.
“What I’m hoping the Marines take away from this event is the skills needed to handle each device and each scenario in a safe way,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Harris, a team leader with the unit. “When we come across [an IED scenario] in a real world situation, everyone is confident and can safely handle [the threat].”
Knowing the enemy’s capabilities helps Marines prepare for similar situations in the future.