News: Security augmentees endure pain for guard preparation
SAN DIEGO — Marines aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego advanced their nonlethal weapon skills by enduring Oleoresin Capsicum spray for Security Augmentation Force training, Jan. 27.
In order for members of SAF to carry OC spray as a tool for use in nonlethal situations, they had to experience level one of OC spray training first hand.
“It’s important they understand the effects of OC spray,” said John Clark, course instructor. “When they utilize the spray they might catch a mist of the OC, but need to have the ability to fight through the pain and carry on with the mission. If they don’t understand the effects, they will be caught off guard.”
Through law enforcement experience it’s proven that the handler of the OC spray will be exposed to some of the spray and knowing the effects helps to better prepare the person handling the spray, said Staff Sgt. Brian Weinmeister, special operations, Headquarters Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion.
Before beginning sprayed, the Marines were given classes on OC spray. These classes cover what to expect, how to utilize the spray and when to know the appropriate time to use it.
The level one OC spray course began with the Marines receiving a line of the spray across their eyes. They were then expected to open their eyes and run to the first station. Many Marines displayed facial expressions of shock and pain while fighting to open their eyes.
“A lot of the time the anticipation makes being OC sprayed seem worse,” said Weinmeister. “Once they’re exposed to the OC they do have severe pain, but then they have an understanding of what to expect.”
At the first station they encountered a “suspect” holding a punching bag. The Marines were expected to fight through the pain and perform four arm strikes, open hand techniques and palm heel or knee strikes.
“The training makes them realize they can fight through the pain and control the situation,” said Weinmeister. “This way the first time they feel the spray, it isn’t in the field.”
The second station consisted of two “suspects,” each with a punching bag. There the Marines utilized their empty hand blocks. After completing station two, they ran to a person wearing red-protective equipment where they were expected to deliver baton strikes and blocks in order to subdue the suspect. Next, the Marines performed forward and reverse strikes on a single bag. At the final station, a “suspect” tried to take the Marines gun. The Marines had to demonstrate weapon retention and apprehension of the suspect.
“Its good training and worth the pain,” said Lance Cpl. Chae Williams, correspondent clerk, Headquarters and Service Battalion, after completion of the course.
After the completion of all stations the Marines are then allowed to wash out their eyes and relax as the pain of the OC spray slowly goes away on its own.
“In the beginning I didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Williams. “But through these classes I realized what type of situations we will be in. Now I feel prepared to make these drastic decisions we may be faced with.”
Date Posted:02.10.2012 13:19
Location:SAN DIEGO, CA, US
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