Marines with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division and 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, conducted a week long explosive training package for Marines with the units aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., November 5-7.
The training was an opportunity for the Marines with 8th ESB to train and use explosives, which is a rare opportunity for a lot of the Marines.
“We typically don’t deal with demolition charges that much, but we know how to use them,” said Lance Cpl. Derek Michael, a combat engineer with 8th ESB. “I’m all for doing training no matter what it is and so far I’m having a great time being refreshed on (demolition) charges.”
The purpose of the training was for the junior Marines to be refreshed on basic, advanced and expedient charges. They also used the training as a chance for Marines that hadn’t used explosives before to get a feel for their capabilities.
“All training is beneficial in some way,” said Michael. “You never know what kind of obstacle you will come across while deployed and what you have to do to overcome that obstacle.”
For the instructors the training is beneficial to them in a different way, mentioned Cpl. Rollie Lemons, an instructor for the demolition course.
“For us when we teach the Marines we like seeing them excel from coming in here not remembering or never having this training, and by the time they leave they have the knowledge to apply while (deployed),” said Lemons. “I plan on being a teacher when I get out of the Marine Corps and being a teacher here even benefits me by getting a chance to use different teaching methods to see which works best for the students.”
The Marines spent two days in the classroom learning about the different types of explosives and then spent the rest of the week prepping explosives and then using them as the training required.
“This training can be used for a variety of things,” said 1st Lt. Patrick Mayne, the officer in charge of the range. “It can be used for anything from destroying to creating. One technique we could use this for is to blow up trees in a certain way so they fall and create a road blockade.”
With great training like this all of the participants from junior Marines to the instructors, only wish they could do it more often.
“What we do here has the potential to save lives and has in the past,” said Lemons. “We are engineers; our job is universal from finding (improvised explosive devices) to building or destroying, and after the Marines are trained with explosives they have the knowledge they need to do their job to the best of their capabilities.”
Article by Lance Cpl. Phillip R. Clark, 2nd Marine Division