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EOD Marines conduct basic demolition range

US Marine Corps News

By Lance Cpl. Heather N. Choate, Marine Corps Bases Japan

CAMP SCHWAB, Okinawa -- Marines with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, conducted a two-day basic demolition training package for junior Marines and sailors in the battalion.

The training was an opportunity for Marines in other Military Occupational Specialties to see firsthand what EOD does, according to Master Gunnery Sgt. Michael C. Sharp, staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge with EOD Company.

“We offered training with demolitions in order to provide a look at training most Marines normally do not get the opportunity to do,” said Sharp. “Working with explosives is motivating; we wanted to share the experience with other Marines within the battalion.”

But it wasn’t just the Marines who benefited from the training.

“For me, this is out of the ordinary. I’m always working with medical personnel so it was cool to get to work with the explosives,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Tom F. Whitman, a hospital corpsman with 9th ESB. “My favorite part was getting hands-on with composition C-4.”

By providing this training, the EOD Marines become better instructors and trainers while developing their communication skills.

“Communication skills help the EOD Marines effectively advise battle space commanders in combat and on-scene commanders in permissive environments,” Sharp said.

They started the training with classroom lectures on safety, then moved to the live-fire training using composition C-4 and TNT, detonating cords, blasting caps, time fuses and igniters.

At the end of the lecture, the Marines and sailors used inert training aids and practiced the techniques they would be using on the range while EOD personnel supervised.

The Marines and sailors began the live training learning how long it takes for the fuse to burn in order to have enough time to initiate the explosive, or shot, and safely travel from the work site to the designated safe area.

“This allowed us to (practice) crimping non-electric blasting caps to detonating cord, making sensitized detonating cord and train with initiating a C-4 demolition charge with a blasting cap,” said Sharp.

For the second shot, detonation cord was wrapped around TNT and C-4. Then the Marines and sailors molded the C-4 into different shapes for the third shot.

“The final shot was the clean up shot,” said Sharp. “We routinely save a small amount of explosive and initiation in order to ensure all scraps or small unused portions of explosive are completely consumed at the end of training.”

EOD conducts training with explosives regularly as part of their mission.

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