News: 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment trains for improvised explosive device threat
Story by Lance Cpl. John McCall
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines with 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment participated in a training exercise at the Mobile Counter-IED Interactive Trainer facility here April 15.
"When Marines come through here they get a real in-depth look at what an improvised explosive device looks like, how it is made, the different places where insurgents hide them and what identifiers to look for when on a patrol in country," said Mason Boyd, a MCIT field support representative. "I think this is a real good refresher for them, especially for the newer guys who have never deployed before."
The MCIT is an add on to the Infantry Immersion Trainer -- a combat simulator designed to inoculate deploying Marines with the sights, sounds and smells of battle, according to retired Marine Maj. Tom Buscemi Jr., director, Battle Simulation Systems Center, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
Since opening in July 2009, the MCIT has been educating Marines about some of the obstacles they might encounter while training at the IIT.
Troops go through a series of displays and videos used to inform them about the use of IEDs in a deployed environment. After each display, the Marines are quizzed on the material discussed.
"They [Marines] get to see the different kinds of IEDs used in theater, as well as the different systems we have to combat them," said Grant Campbell, an MCIT site supervisor. "They may not come across every kind of IED out there, but they might see one of them, and having this little exposure to it may save their life."
The last part of MCIT training has Marines conducting a simulated mounted vehicle patrol in which they are confronted with implanted IEDs during their convoy. Marines are able to see things from the enemy's point of view as well, when they take turns trying to sabotage the virtual convoy.
After completing the MCIT, Marines are sent to the IIT to put into practice what they have learned about IEDs during simulated foot patrols in the IIT's mock Afghan village.
"I hope that this training will stay with them and [if needed], that they will be able to apply some of the information taught to them in a real life scenario," Boyd said.