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Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason Scarborough, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician with EOD Company, begins to remove the explosive ordnance from the Griffin missile at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Dec. 1, 2015. A Griffin missile is an air and ground-launched, precise, low collateral-damage missile used for irregular warfare operations.

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Steady hands: EOD technicians disarm Griffin missile

3 Dec 2015 | Courtesy Story II Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company practice disassembling the Griffin missile to enhance their skills on unfamiliar weapons disassembly and to document a how-to procedure to safely remove the explosive ordinance from inside the Griffin missile at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Dec. 1, 2015.

The Griffin missile is an air and ground-launched, precise, low-collateral-damage missile used for irregular warfare.

Marines with EOD are refining their dismantling procedures, as the disassembly of the Griffin missile has only been completed a handful of times. These EOD technicians with 2nd Marine Logistics Group are currently the only technicians in the Marine Corps to dismantle a Griffin missile.

“There is always room to grow,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Key, a Marine from Readiness Evaluation and Doctrine cell with EOD Company. “I can always be more proficient at my job, and this is a learning opportunity.”

The training consists of taking apart explosive ordinance like the Griffin missile and mortar rounds. Since this is their fifth time ever seeing a Griffin missile they are continuing to learn specific details about the missile, as well identifying the appropriate methods to properly take it apart.

“It’s a matter of familiarizing yourself with the tools that you’re going to use to disarm and remove the explosives,” said Master Sgt. James Hoffman, an EOD technician with EOD Company. “A lot of people can read how to do something and not fully understand how it works, but [with hands on training] you wind up knowing how it functions better than just from reading it.”

EOD technicians are trained to be able to disarm unknown explosive ordnance while in theatre. This type of training is vital because it gives Marines an opportunity to encounter ordnance they have not seen before much like they might in a foreign country.

Developing and documenting the procedure for future use is as important as the actual disassembly, as it helps maintain a continuity of effort and keeps Marines safe.

“If we go overseas and there’s a new ordnance found that we’ve never seen before we’re not going to run and go blow it up,” Key said. “We’re probably going to be seeing more of it so we’ll go in and develop procedures on how to disarm it.”