CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- With blood-shot eyes, reddened skin and the freshly sprayed mist still dripping from his face, Cpl. Dakota L. Render made a dash for his target. “Get back!” he screamed as he grabbed his plastic baton and wildly hit the pad another Marine held up. After maneuvering the man into a contained position on the ground, Render continued through the course.
Marines with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion and Provost Marshal’s Office came together aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 14, 2015, to complete Oleoresin Capsicum (OC spray) training. This was part of a two-week course designed to qualify new non-lethal weapons instructors.
“The use of non-lethal weapons is an ongoing evolution that can be utilized in various cases ranging from riot control to combat,” said Gunnery Sgt. Michael Weimer, the staff non-commissioned officer in charge of the Non-Lethal Weapons Instructor Course. “This training provides Marines options to use something other than lethal force.”
OC is a chemical agent compound mixed with different peppers that irritates the eyes which cause tears, burning of the skin, involuntary muscle relaxation and temporary blindness to incapacitate an individual for a short period of time.
The Marines received a level one contamination with the OC spray and were then required to execute combative skills they learned during the training course at five different stations.
“It’s a beneficial course to go through,” said Render, a military police officer with the special purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force. “Being OC sprayed tests your ability to perform your job duties while being contaminated, and also makes you aware of the sprays effects.”
“Marines gain not only the experience, knowledge and confidence to be able to get through obstacles if they are ever exposed to the OC spray, but they also learned how to instruct Marines on how they can employ the spray themselves,” said Weimer.
The Non-Lethal Weapon Instructor Course provides the Marine Expeditionary Force and other units ongoing support for current and future missions. It gives them non-lethal weapon instructors to be able to train others, which will provide the commander with alternatives to using lethal force.