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Combat Logistics Battalion 31 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines Refine Counter-improvised Explosive Device Tactics

By Lance Cpl. Jonah Baase | 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit | Nov. 30, 2017

CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan -- Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 31 conducted counter improvised explosive device (IDE) training at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, Nov. 21, 2017.

During the training the Marines refined their ability to mitigate the dangers of IEDs to U.S. personnel and civilian populaces.

EOD Marines with CLB-31, the logistics arm of the 31st MEU, train regularly to disarm unexploded ordnance, including IEDs and so called ‘dirty bombs’, or unconventional weapons rigged with biological or chemical components in all environments. Marines maintain the ability to act and react in stressful environments by reviewing the basics, said Chief Warrant Officer Samuel Beltram, an EOD officer with CLB-31. “We treat every call we get as a real threat and,” said Beltram.

EOD Marines refine tactics through counter-IED training while employing personnel protection equipment. During counter-IED training and operations, the EOD Marines use a variety of tactics, to include controlled detonation, x-rays of IEDs and inspecting blast effects, according to Beltram.

“We practice and review continuously so, when we get the call, we can get the job done,” said Beltram. “Training with all of the tools and refining fundamental skills builds confidence in the Marines.”

Marines wear protective equipment made of green Kevlar material covering the entire body to shield the wearer from shrapnel in case of an explosion. EOD Marines may also use a remotely fired detonator, a shotgun barrel fixed atop a tripod, which they use to disable firing mechanisms or safely destroy IEDs entirely, said Staff Sgt. Brianna Walker, an EOD technician with CLB-31.

“Using the remote detonator systems provides us with a safe way to disarm and disrupt an IED at a distance,” said Walker.
During training and real-world scenarios, EOD Marines ensure service members, civilians and property are safe from harm, according to Walker.

“This training is especially important because it saves lives,” said Walker.
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