CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- CAMP LEJUENE, N.C. – Debris soared through the sky as technicians with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, participated in a breaching course with live explosives, Jan. 14.
EOD technicians conduct breaching courses semi-annually to maintain proficiency in their billet and retain proper breaching techniques to be prepared for real-world contingencies and disasters. However, some technicians are preparing for NATO’s upcoming Cold Response exercise in Norway.
“You learn [these skills] for three weeks at the school house, but you forget it fast,” said Sgt. Daniel Lohmann, an EOD technician with the unit, “It definitely helps to stay on top of [this training], so you don’t lose it.”
Lohmann also said the Marines received classroom instructions a day prior to the practical application. The lessons consisted of safety procedures and instructions on how to construct their own explosive charges specifically engineered for breaching doors.
“Rather than just doing demolition operations a couple times a month, it gives them another aspect of their job, which they don’t usually get to [perform],” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Pickartz, the executive officer for the company.
Pickartz said the most difficult portion of the course was making sure the Marines used the right amount of explosives necessary to gain access into the building.
“We are a force multiplier for MEF, [working] to make a well-rounded EOD Marine,” said Pickartz. “That way, regardless of what situation they will face, they will be prepared for it.”