MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
With temperatures rising aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., sweat could be seen dripping down the faces of Marines from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, and 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion during a live fire demolition range July 21.
Their objective in conducting the training was to improve their standard operating procedures and build confidence while employing the demolitions.
As part of the training day, Marines set off two M58 Mine Clearing Line Charges (MICLIC), several Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching Systems and multiple M18 Claymores.
The MICLIC is a rocket projected explosive line charge which provides a "close-in" breaching capability for the Marine Corps. It is effective against conventionally fused land mines and, when detonated, provides a lane eight meters by 100 meters. The line charge is 350 feet long and contains five pounds per linear foot of C-4 explosive.
“This training is important because we don’t normally have the ability to fire live MICLICs, and it’s always important to go out and do live demolitions,” said 1st Lt. Ian Simpson, a 2nd CEB platoon commander.
Assaultmen with 1/3 also received training on the proper employment of APOBS, which are used to conduct deliberate or hasty breaches through enemy anti-personnel minefields and multi-strand wire obstacles. It is light enough to be carried by two Marines with backpacks and can be deployed within 30 to 120 seconds—essentially a smaller version of the MICLIC.
“These tools allow follow on forces, whether they are infantry, tanks or AAVs [amphibious assault vehicles], to get through various obstacles in order to accomplish the mission at hand,” added Simpson.
Once the APOBS were expended, the Marines focused their attention on the M18 Claymore. The claymore fires steel balls out to approximately 100 meters. It is used primarily in ambushes and as an anti-infiltration device against enemy forces.
“It feels great to get the junior Marines out here and allow them to get that hands-on training,” said Cpl. Oliver Ens, an assaultman with Company C, 1/3. “It’s a great learning experience that will ultimately build confidence.”
Being able to apply their knowledge of the various devices during the training allowed the Marines time to learn and better hone their combat tactics.
Ens added, you never really know what situations you will encounter, so this training enhances our ability to be more versatile in forward deployed situations.