News: Co. I learn importance of detecting IEDs
Story by Lance Cpl. Bridget Keane
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT, SAN DIEGO - Throughout the years, the nation’s wars and enemies have evolved. As service members of the United States military, Marines must evolve with them, staying one step ahead of their enemies.
Recruits of Company I, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, learned about improvised explosive devices during the Crucible at Edson Range aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Dec. 11.
An IED is a homemade bomb that can be triggered by remote control, pressure plates or by trip wires. They are used to directly attack convoys or patrols and can be used to cause distractions.
“IEDs are going to be a constant threat in the future, no matter who we face,” said Sgt. Jack Thompson, field instructor, Field Company, Weapons and Field Training Battalion. “They will always be evolving.”
They learned about the explosives through a walk down a trail known as IED lane. This event at the Crucible takes recruits down a path and through a small market place. Along the way, there are simulated IEDs filled with talcum powder that can be triggered by remote and trip wires, explained Thompson.
Recruits are required to stay alert and be on the lookout for anything they would consider suspicious. If they set off an IED, they must evacuate their causalities and post security.
“They learn how to spot (IEDs) using the same tactics that Marines use overseas,” said Thompson. “They also learn how to react when one is set off and how to rescue their fellow recruit when they’re down.”
After recruits have either spotted or set off an IED, an instructor will assemble them in a school circle and go over what they just learned.
“Usually in the beginning of the lane, recruits won’t have any questions,” said Thompson. “But once they move down the lane and experience the different scenarios, they all start asking questions, which is good because those questions might be the one thing that could save their lives in the future.”
At the end of the lane, there is a table with multiple examples of IEDs. The recruits gather around and become familiar with the different types of IEDs and how to recognize them.
“We want them to grasp the whole concept of an IED. We show them examples of current as well as past techniques in case they ever encounter them,” said Thompson. “They need to be educated on it because IEDs don’t discriminate.”
Educating recruits on IEDs is an important part of training because there is a chance they could see combat in the future. The baseline is always changing and training must keep up with it, explained Thompson.
“I think the most important thing we learned was to think outside the box,” said Pfc. Eric Burke, Platoon 3210, Co. I, 3rd RTBn. “Being observant is a key aspect but you must learn to think like (the enemy) thinks.”
Burke, a 19-year-old Aurora, Colo., native, explained that he’ll be a military policeman and what he learned during IED lane could apply to his every day job.
“It can help us during deployments, but it can also help us stay aware and be alert in any situation,” said Burke.
With the knowledge and awareness Co. I gained from IED lane, they continued to push through the Crucible. Early in the morning on Dec. 13, recruits of Co. I received their Eagle, Globe and Anchor and now hold the title Marine.