2nd EOD gets hands on with robot, X-ray assisted IED disposal
By Lance Cpl. Fatmeh Saad, II Marine Expeditionary Force
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines with 2nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion participated in a live-fire demolition exercise aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, May 14, 2015.
The unit conducted the range as part of their preparation for an upcoming deployment with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa in July.
“This exercise gives our Marines a realistic idea of what to expect and how to anticipate and attack problems that we may encounter,” said Master Sgt. Hugh A. McClenney, a platoon sergeant with the unit.
McClenney said the exercise is geared toward the less experienced Marines in the unit and provides them with hands-on experience using different tools and explosive charges that help them stabilize hazards from a safe distance. Based on the existing global military threats, McClenney said this training prepares them for situations where EOD operations are necessary.
“What we bring to the table is the ability to neutralize nuclear, biological, chemical and explosive hazards that would hamper, slow down or stop missions our forces are engaged in,” McClenney said.
The first team of EOD technicians practiced surveying the area and detonating explosives using a remote-controlled robot. Then they patrolled with compact metal detectors, a tool capable of detecting metal and carbon rods.
The second team trained in capturing X-ray imagery of suspicious packages and applying the information it provided to a Percussion Actuated Neutralizer, an EOD disruptive tool, to stabilize potential hazards using non-explosive rounds.
“Our goal is for our Marines to understand and feel comfortable with the tools at their disposal, especially since a lot of the hazards we encounter are in urban settings,” McClenney said. “We want to reduce collateral damage when possible in these settings and that’s when this training comes into play.”