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I Marine Expeditionary Force

In Every Clime and Place

1st Law Enforcement Battalion conducts IED training

By Lance Cpl. William Perkins | 1st Law Enforcement Battalion | March 17, 2014

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Marines with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion gather around an instructor to learn about traditional improvised explosive devices placement aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 11. The Marines were sent through IED lanes to practice spotting and identifying IED indicators.

Marines with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion gather around an instructor to learn about traditional improvised explosive devices placement aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 11. The Marines were sent through IED lanes to practice spotting and identifying IED indicators. (Photo by Lance Cpl. William Perkins)


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Marines with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion observe the surrounding areas for improvised explosive devices indicators aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 11. The Marines underwent several similar courses to test their ability to identify IED indicators.

Marines with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion observe the surrounding areas for improvised explosive devices indicators aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 11. The Marines underwent several similar courses to test their ability to identify IED indicators. (Photo by Lance Cpl. William Perkins)


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A Marine with1st Law Enforcement Battalion stands by to begin an improvised explosive device surveillance exercise aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 11. The training gets the Marines comfortable with spotting IED indicators at long distances.

A Marine with1st Law Enforcement Battalion stands by to begin an improvised explosive device surveillance exercise aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 11. The training gets the Marines comfortable with spotting IED indicators at long distances. (Photo by Lance Cpl. William Perkins)


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Marines with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion observe the proper technique used with the Holly Stick aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 11. The Holly Stick is used to confirm the presence of suspected improvised explosive devices.

Marines with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion observe the proper technique used with the Holly Stick aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 11. The Holly Stick is used to confirm the presence of suspected improvised explosive devices. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Ricardo Hurtado)


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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Marines with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion trained to combat Improvised Explosive Devices aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., from March 11-13.

The training provided noncommissioned officers with the ability to lead their Marines past the enemy’s effective weapons.

The training consisted of formal lectures and practical applications, which taught Marines the basics of dealing with IEDs in a deployed environment. 

1st Lt. Daniel Herrin, with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, said they’re using the training to ensure everybody from top to the bottom of the chain of command are on the same page.

Herrin also said that in a best-case scenario combat engineers can be used as a resource to spot IEDs, but that’s not always the case. 

“You might not have those assets out there, so [IED training] teaches the Marines how to identify the IEDs, not dismantle them,“ said Herrin.

The classes focused on topics like pre and post IED response operations and how to communicate in a suspected IED area.

Deploying preventative measures and stopping an IED attack before it happens were the main concern during the classes. 

One of the techniques discussed was the honesty trace, during which the planning of an intended patrol route is mapped out and compared with previous patrol routes to avoid consistent troop movement. When the planned route intersects any point of a previous patrol, the area is marked as a danger area.

The classes also taught the fundamentals of defeating the device: predicting, detecting, preventing, avoiding, neutralizing and protecting from IED attacks.

Lance Cpl. Jake Vargas, a military policeman with the 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, said since the unit is deployable, they need to know how to identify an IED and how to take care of the situation.

The training also familiarizes the Marines with the equipment used such as Holly Sticks, a 16-foot-long pole with a hook used to locate potential IEDs, and metal detectors.

To conclude the training, Marines conducted patrol operations that simulated real-world situations. Through applying what was learned in the classroom and demonstrations, the Marines endured a day-long course where they patrolled through an IED territory set up by instructors.