CLC-36 conducts IED lane training at Camp Fuji during Exercise Dragon Fire 2014
COMBINED ARMS TRAINING CENTER CAMP FUJI, Japan -- Combat Logistics Company 36 Marines and augments participated in Improvised Explosive Device lane training to simulate real world operations and enhance leadership skills during Exercise Dragon Fire 2014 at Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, Japan, July 19.
Dragon Fire is CLC-36’s annual Battle Skills Training exercise that focuses on improving the individual and collective combat skills of CLC-36 service members with an emphasis on weapons familiarization training.
“This training is important for junior Marines and (noncommissioned officers) to serve as an enhancer to their tactics, techniques and procedures,” said Sgt. Paul Faucheux, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with Marine Corps Installations Pacific. “It serves as initial training for the junior Marines in counter IED operations and helps fine tune these NCOs’ combat leadership.”
Faucheux said this training was realistic in terms of providing friction during counter IED operations.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeremy Allen, a hospital corpsman with Combat Logistics Regiment 35, Medical Logistics Company, said the training was intense compared to other courses. Working with the EOD Marines and having them throwing out different challenges throughout the training forced service members to think on their feet and react immediately to situations.
“The situations were chaotic and trying to establish communication throughout the entire convoy was rough,” said Allen. “We had to yell out all the instructions and not everyone received messages because the instructors were simulating fog of war around us. In one of the convoys, we ended up losing a patient because we weren’t able to get to him fast enough.”
Allen said response time is critical to saving a life. Service members can bleed out within minutes of a severe injury. While on one convoy, the effect of delayed response time hit home for Marines.
“We initially had an IED blast that resulted in two injured,” said Allen. “Then, due to a break up of communication, one of our stretcher teams ran to the scene without sweeping for additional IEDs, so we ended up getting hit by a second IED and lost three more instantly. Then we lost another because we didn’t get her to safety to treat her wounds. What was a two-man rescue mission ended up being four dead and one seriously injured.”
While this was all a training event and no lives were lost, Faucheux said this provided junior Marines an introduction to IED strikes and allowed the NCOs to teach them, as well as to challenge their combat leadership in countering IED strikes.
“The skills Marines can take away from this are an enhancement of their tactics, techniques and procedures of existing SOPs,” said Faucheux. “Junior Marines learn more about initial based tactics from picking up security, helping out with the (casualties evacuations), as well as seeking micro-terrain and cover.”
According to Faucheux, IEDs have changed the way Marines fight battles in today’s wars. They have greatly changed the spectrum of combat because they are a great unknown.
“The battle field is always changing and IEDs are always changing,” said Faucheux. “They’re an effective weapon and are always going to be around. However, since IEDs are changing, so are our counter IED procedures and SOPs, because as Marines, we adapt and overcome.”
Faucheux said there are no limitations to what an IED can be. An IED can be anything made from any type of material that is readily available and they are generally cheap. The only thing that limits an IED is the bomb maker’s knowledge, tools and resources.