MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
One of the best ways in combat to defeat improvised explosive devices is to train on counter-improvised explosive device measures, ensuring Marines are prepared for what to do when the time comes.
Marines and sailors with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, practiced CIED training from July 30- Aug. 2.
The course consisted of classes the first two days, and the culminating event included three scenarios: clearing a route, responding to a casualty evacuation and an IED attack with small-arms fire.
The main purpose of the training was to prepare Marines for defense against the insurgent’s common weapon of choice – the IED.
Most of the Marines with 3rd Platoon are somewhat new to the Marine Corps and have never made a combat deployment.
“I actually haven’t deployed yet to a combat environment, but, as a leader, I’m supposed to know what to do and how to react,” said Cpl. Aaron Michaels, a squad leader with 3rd Platoon. “As the squad leader, I can’t let my Marines down, so I think this training is great for them and myself, so we can practice what we know and work on the things the instructors tell us about.”
The Marines knew they were going on a simulated patrol and they needed to be aware of IEDs and insurgent role players. The rest of the simulation was up to the instructors to decide when they wanted to set off the faux IEDs.
When they detonated the first IED, two Marines were engulfed in black smoke and the instructors let the other Marines know who was injured and who was killed and the Marines had to react and call in a casualty evacuation.
“(Improvised explosive devices) are primarily used in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Sgt. Lincoln D. Hughes, the platoon sergeant for 3rd Platoon. “These Marines have nearly zero combat experience and I don’t think anything gets closer without it being the real thing.”
Hughes, a Seneca, S.C., native, mentioned how since he is an observer and not a part of the lane, he can immediately interject with ideas and what the Marines should be doing.
“I’m not running the lane, I’m observing. I can put in advice like what are we doing, what should we be doing, how can we do it differently,” said Hughes. “The classes these Marines get and what they are being taught is coming straight from what insurgents are using in Afghanistan. There is stuff being taught in these classes that I didn’t know or that is new from the last time I deployed, so this training is definitely worthwhile for these new Marines.”
After each scenario, the Marines were pulled together to discuss what they did correctly and what could have been done differently. After all three scenarios were completed, the Marines were evaluated on how they did overall before cleaning up to head back.
“The Marines did a great job, overall,” said Khan. “I think this training is very close to Afghanistan and Iraq and, with us doing counter-IED training, I think the Marines will be prepared.”