A select few Marines were invited to Himeko-Jima, also known as Target Island, by Explosives Ordnance Disposal technicians Sept. 7 to see what the EOD field does on a regular basis.
The Marines selected were chosen due to their performance and leadership abilities.
EOD showed Marines how bombs are built, deployed and the explosions they produce.
“We are trying to open opportunities for Marines in Iwakuni to have an experience which most Marines don’t get in their career,” said Gunnery Sgt. Steven B. Pearsoll, an EOD technician. “It is good for junior Marines. (This experience) shows them what we do on a daily basis, and maybe even push them in the direction of EOD.”
EOD is responsible for the safety of Marines not only while deployed in combat zones, but also during any situation involving explosive materials.
“We support the base by responding to unexploded ordinance, suspicious packages or any type of bomb-related threats which occur,” said Sgt. Aaron W. Budd, an EOD technician.
The Marines in the EOD field work to keep all service members safe by disabling explosive devices, which may cause damage to anyone, military or civilian.
To prepare for those stituations, station EOD conducts training with live ordnance on the island. While on the island, EOD uses various types of demolitions in different methods to show the diverse outcomes.
These different results can be used to blow open doors, dig up ordnance or destroy different material.
“We taught them how using different types of explosives, in different types of employments can create different desired effects,” said Budd.
Many of the Marines who were selected to go with EOD had no prior training with explosives, and therefore safety was an extremely important factor.
“We taught the Marines about the safe practices we use with the employment of explosive materials,” said Budd.
Lance Cpl. Jacob M. Smith, an expeditionary airfield systems technician, was one of the Marines selected to go to the island.
Smith said when these Marines were given the chance to go to Target Island to see the to see firsthand the duties of EOD, they were shocked and excited for the opportunity.
Some of the Marines who went out to the island are now interested in EOD and looking to possibly pursue a lateral move in the field.
“What kid doesn’t want to do something like this and get paid for it?” said Smith.
EOD was formalized into the American military in April 1941. EOD has helped to save Marines and other service members since.
Article by Pfc. Nicholas Rhoades, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni