MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, IEDs have been the primary cause of death or injury to coalition forces operating in the regions. The U.S. military has had to adapt to this ever-evolving threat and constantly seeks out new methods to counter these deadly devices.
Keeping with this ideology, Marines with Company A., 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, tested a new counter-IED training course at Camp Pendleton, Feb. 10-12, 2016.
This new course, designed by Marine Corps Engineer School, is aimed at creating a more streamlined and geographically focused training program.
“Alpha just came back from deployment, and the Marine Corps Engineer School asked them to test out a pilot course,” said 1st Lt. Robert Boyles, executive officer of Company A. “They’ve been through this kind of training three or four times before they even deployed, so they are out here to run through the course and give their feedback.”
The previous course curriculum consisted of nine different class segments and could take an entire day to get through one lesson plan. The new Defeat the Device Counter-IED Training Class has only six sections with a more focused curriculum and emphasis on practical application.
Boyles explained it is all the same information as the old course, distilled to the most important parts to make the training more practical and efficient. The training explains the role that different aspects of a unit play in C-IED operations and how to best exploit the various assets at a unit’s disposal.
The class – consisting mainly of small unit leaders – learned the functions, strengths and weaknesses of the tools and personnel they could integrate into their patrols and teams. While the enabling assets are helpful, the instructors emphasized the importance of pre-combat checks and pre-combat inspections as the basis for success and survivability.
“This training is designed for readiness,” said Aaron Pluff, an instructor with the Marine Corps Engineer School, Defeat the Device branch. “A Marine that doesn’t have the proper training will be set up for failure before he even steps outside of the wire.”
Additionally, focus was placed on recognizing and understanding the enemy’s tactics, techniques and procedures as much as