News: Marines train on new escalation of force equipment
Story by Sgt. Richard Blumenstein
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Spray cans that detect explosive residue, spike strips that can be quickly spread to immobilize vehicles, and SQU.IDs that translate English to Dari audibly in real time.
No, these are not high-tech gadgets off the latest superhero’s utility belt, but a shortlist of tools Marines trained with Aug. 22-25, during a Marine Corps Systems Command course at the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s motor pool and Harriet B. Smith Library.
The Marines, primarily from units scheduled to attach to the 24th MEU, spent the week training on the ins and outs of the new Escalation of Force Mission Modules. The 24th MEU received the EoF-MM early this year. The training served as a means to enable them to employ it during the MEU’s upcoming deployment.
Escalation of force procedures give units the ability to minimize civilian casualties through nonlethal means. The EoF-MM is comprised of a plethora of nonlethal-centric weapons systems such as riot shields, batons, lighting systems, powerful speaker systems, restraint devices, explosive detection devices and more.
Basically, it provides Marines the assets to incapacitate personnel or material while minimizing fatalities, significant injury to personnel, and undesired damage to property in a target area or environment.
The EoF-MM divides those assets into mission specific modules such as urban patrolling, entry control points, and crowd control. The organization of the modules allows Marines to quickly gather the assets they need to conduct various missions, according to Thomas Ritchie, the project officer for the EoF-MM, with MCSC.
“Everything is so quick to access, it’s all organized for you,” said Cpl. John Angiono, a military policeman with Combat Logistics Regiment 27. “It is really all inclusive, everything you could possibly need is going to be found in one of its quadcons.”
The EOF-MM is phasing out both the Force Protection Capability Set and Nonlethal Capability Set Marine Corps-wide as an all round lighter and more efficient asset. The EoF-MM takes less than half the space than the previous systems because a number of its contents, such as lighting systems, have greatly been reduced in weight and size. The EoF-MM takes up four quadcons whereas the previous sets together filled more than 10 quadcons.
The EoF-MM boasts a number of capabilities and advances over the older sets. Some of the more interesting items include the magnetic audio device, a powerful speaker that can plug directly into an MP-3 player. The device is used for a myriad of reasons including directing large crowds of people. Some other deceives include the Phraselator P2 and SQU.ID, electronic devices that translate English to another language audibly.
“The system is really cool because its voice activated,” said Cpl. Liji Sui, a field artillery cannoneer with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, in regards to the SQU.ID. “It was extremely easy to learn. Just say the word and it will translate it to Pashto, Dari, Arabic."
Once the Marines have been trained in the numerous implementations of the EoF-MM, it will serve as an invaluable asset to the MEUs’ ability to carry out missions such as humanitarian aid, noncombatant evacuations, and more.