MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The Marines and sailors of II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group participated in a counter-improvised explosive device training event, April 17, at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
During the exposition, the Marines made their way through a circuit, receiving instruction on new types of equipment and tactics available to overcome the ever present IED threat in Afghanistan. Marine and civilian instructors gave classes on metal detectors used to circumvent roadside bombs and demonstrated the uses of Explosive Ordnance Disposal robots.
Tables were littered with bomb triggers and containers used to hold shrapnel constructed out of materials ranging from wood to Styrofoam and clear plastic bottles. Although most of the devices looked more like a pile of trash than deadly weapons they sent a strong message about the resourcefulness of insurgents.
The target audience was the senior leadership of Camp Lejeune, the Marine Corps’ east coast deployment hub. The leaders’ decisions on the battlefield have potentially lasting and profound results, explained Cpl. Benjamin Gottwald, a sapper instructor from Lake Ann, Mich., who helped conduct the training.
“The awareness training was aimed at educating leaders on what new tools and tactics we’ve developed, so they can carry that knowledge forward when they deploy,” said Gottwald. “[The leadership] is who decides what gear we get, so if we can highlight what gear we need, there’s a chance our voices will be heard.”
The awareness training also instructed participants in insurgent tactics, training and procedures, informing the Marines about which tools and tactics have been overcome by the enemy, and what can be done to stay ahead.
“We gave general understanding of things currently being done on deployment, both in regards to our devices, and to insurgent tactics,” explained Charles Tucker a civilian who works for the Marine Air Ground Task Force Engineer Center.
The training continued throughout the day, giving those present a glimpse of what is waiting for them on deployment.