CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Improvised explosive devices are one of the most life-threatening weapons Marines and corpsmen encounter while deployed. Some Marines devote themselves to protecting their fellow service members from these home-made bombs, and in their military occupational specialty, training is paramount.
Marines with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, participated in Improvised Explosive Device Response training Nov. 4, at Camp Dave South Training Ground; one of the many training areas aboard Camp Lejeune.
During the exercise, EOD technicians were given the opportunity to brush up their skills and find simulated IEDs scattered throughout the area by fellow technicians.
“The training is going well,” said Staff Sgt. Dominic Chavez, an EOD technician, EOD Co. “You rather make a mistake here than there.”
As the day went on, technicians practiced different scenarios and patrols.
“Patrols in Afghanistan are predominantly dismounted,” said Sgt. D.J. Eddy, an EOD technician, EOD Co. “So, that’s what we’re working on out here.”
Along with dismounted and mounted patrols, technicians were expected to decide what kind of IED they encountered and what course of action would best defuse the situation.
As the training went on, it was apparent; defusing the simulated IEDs wasn’t the most difficult part of the exercise for each of the Marines.
“Time between calls is definitely the hardest part about the exercise,” Eddy said.
“Getting everything ready and making sure all my gear is squared away for the next go around is the hardest part for me,” Chavez said.
The reason training runs so smoothly for the Marines is due to the relationship shared between each team, explained several of the technicians. Each team consists of two Marines per team, with a team leader for each one.
“The training is as much about relationship development as finding an IED,” said Staff Sgt. Rocky Smith, an EOD technician, EOD Co.
If that part is taken care of, it’s one less thing to worry about while on a mission, he added.
Trust in your fellow technicians could be just as vital as the training itself. With EOD Co. working toward strengthening skills and relationships between team members equally, they’re ensuring their strength doesn’t lie in one more than the other, but in both.