Marines stack up behind each other while one runs up to the door. He tapes the charge to the door, primes it and makes his way back to the stack. He begins the countdown: 5, 4, 3, 2. In a split second the door is engulfed in flames and is thrown off its hinges. The Marines hustle to the now open building to complete their objective.
Marines with Mobility Assault Company, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division spent the day breaching and clearing rooms, revisiting the basics of how to properly prime and ignite detonation cord at a demolition range, aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 3.
“When we do go into combat, that’s our main asset; breaching”, said Lance Cpl. Andrew Rogers, a Combat Engineer with Mobility Assault Co. “Breaching doors, windows, it’s an asset to the grunts. We spin up on it so we remain the subject matter experts.”
The Marines received a scenario and had to choose how they wanted to breach each building, and what charge they wanted to use.
One of the charges they used was a donut charge, where detonation cord is made to fit around a door knob. Its purpose is to blow the door knob off, allowing them to breach that room. They also used what they call a det linear, which are three strips of detonation cord cut to the length of the door. One strip is either placed at the center, left, or right side of the door.
“The purpose behind this training was to get the Marines to go back to their basics”, said Sgt. Erick Gonzalez, a Combat Engineer with Mobility Assault Co. “Demo is definitely a big part of our military occupational specialty. Getting this training in with the Marines [is important]; they start remembering everything they were taught in their MOS school, it makes them mission ready in case anything pops off.”
The training went better than expected, said Gonzalez. He also said that it’s a good refresher to bring them back and show them how to breach.
Being combat engineers, their mission could vary from conducting route clearance to breaching and assaulting a building. The Marines with Mobility Assault Co. need to know how to do both, and how to perfect it too, said Gonzalez. Urban breach course allowed them to regain their confidence in breaching and assaulting.