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Marines with Military Police Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, conduct metal detector training during a metal detecting course aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 23, 2010. The Marines attended the course to learn the proper techniques for employing a metal detector in preparation for future deployments to Afghanistan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. M. Bravo)

Photo by Cpl. M. Bravo

Military Police Marines attend metal detection course

26 Feb 2010 | Cpl. M. Bravo

Marines with Military Police Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, attended a two-day metal detecting course aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 22 -23. 

The purpose of the course was to teach the fundamentals of using metal detectors to find improvised explosive devices.  These fundamentals include the basic sweep techniques, the proper sweep speed and the correct operator stance.

The Marines first received the information in a classroom setting and then participated in practical application to test out what they learned.

Sgt. Jeremy D. Mitz, an engineer training area instructor, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, said with the Marine Corps’ current presence in Afghanistan, the training will better prepare individuals for finding IEDs underfoot.

“Afghanistan’s terrain is difficult to traverse in vehicles,” Mitz said.  “Dismounted patrols are mandatory [in country].  This [training] is important for Marines to learn.”

 The instructors, who are all combat engineers, teach according to Marine Corps standards, but they also pass on their personal experiences.

“It’s a very effective course for Marines who have no prior knowledge of metal detecting,” Mitz said.  “It’s designed to develop a baseline to go from, but this is our job.  It’s what we do.”

Lance Cpl. Johnilea E. Petty, who has deployed to Iraq, said she learned a lot from her instructors, especially since she has no prior experience with a metal detector.

“I’ve never touched one before we came out here,” she said.  “It’s interesting to hear what different sounds metal makes, like rounds or a bolt or a nut.”

“The guys that have [deployed to Afghanistan] said we’re going to be doing this in country a lot,” she continued.

Cpl. Patrick B. Winslow has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Winslow said the majority of their patrols in Iraq were done in vehicles and they didn’t use the hand-held metal detectors.  In Afghanistan though, they conducted a lot of foot patrols and used them regularly.

“When we were in Afghanistan we used [metal detectors] all the time,” he said.  I was part of a route clearance team and we’d go out and clear roads all day.  We used several metal detectors at a time to find IEDs.”

Winslow said because of his deployment, he already knew how to use a metal detector prior to this training, but it was very effective for Marines who have no prior experience with the equipment.

“This training lets these Marines get a feel for this before they go,” Winslow said.  “It gives them a chance to get hands on training and learn how [the detector] works so when they deploy they can get the job done.”

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