CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Twenty five Marines with Improved Ribbon Bridge Platoon, Bridge Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics conducted an explosives exercise here Nov. 19 to 21.
The service members prepared and detonated approximately 30 explosive door- and wall-breaching charges, and anti-personnel and path-clearing explosives to train for urban environments and expedient demolition operations.
“We are, obviously, a Marine Corps at war right now, and as combat engineers, that’s our main job,” said Tyler D. Martin, an Alexandria, Va., native and IRB Plt. commander. “The intent was just to get the Marines familiar with basic demolitions and get them comfortable with it so they can safely employ it if they ever have to use it in a combat environment. [The training] plays right into mobility: breaching, getting through an obstacle and continuing to move forward.”
The Marines assembled the charges that they would use to get through locked doors and clear concertina wire in the field with materials they might find on a battlefield.
“At any given time Marines can be deployed, so they need to be trained and well kept up on this information and training so [the Marines] can be employed properly in a combat zone,” said Sgt. Garret F. Burn, a Tacoma, Wash., native and operations chief of IRB Plt. “It’s not just IRB Marines specifically; combat engineers as a whole need to learn not just the group side of their [military occupational specialty]. They need to learn the division side and [aircraft] wing side so they are whole, rounded Marines.”
The Marines also made the expedient Bangalore torpedoes with varying amounts of C-4 explosives to test the path-clearing abilities of each torpedo on concertina wire. The service members could then see the results and find the most efficient charge size for future operations.
The urban breaching allowed the members of IRB Plt. to see first-hand how to employ the different types of explosives and the capabilities of each one.
“If the enemy puts out an obstacle in front of us, we need to be able to breach it and get through it to create a lane for follow-on forces to get them,” said Martin. “If we’re fighting in a city or any type of urban combat, we need to get into buildings to get to our enemies, so we need to blow down doors and windows. The majority of the Marines in the platoon are combat engineers and they did great.”