Marines with 2nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal plot the land as they search for potential unexploded ordnance during a field training exercise at Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 30, 2016. The training was a weeklong event that evaluated the Marines on their abilities to be successful EOD technicians. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Damarko Bones/Released)
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians with the 4th Civil Engineer Squadron from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, joined Marines with 2nd EOD Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, to conduct training as the Marines completed a quarterly evaluation of their capabilities as EOD technicians during a field training exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 27 – July 1.
During the exercise, the Marines tested their job skills and complete assigned tasks that are pertinent to the military occupational specialty of EOD Technician.
“We’re doing a forward evaluation of our EOD technicians to make sure we’re meeting our evaluation-coded events from our training and readiness manual to make sure our Marines are capable of deploying in a worldwide manner,” said Chief Warrant Officer Michael L. Gaydeski, a platoon commander with the company. “Our training and readiness manual has the tasks we’re responsible for, which feed into our mission essential tasks. It’s a building block approach of being able to complete the mission.”
During the evaluation Marines are faced with various situations. They have to respond accordingly to complete the mission in the most effective, yet timely manner.
“We’re given a scenario and we take the tasks that we’re able to accomplish (and we select one) and then we employ it,” said Gaydeski. “We go [to] find the ordnance and remove it safely without exposing ourselves to danger, we render it safe and [then] we dispose of it.”
Airmen assigned to 4th Civil Engineer Squadron took part in the exercise to assist the Marines and learn from the differences in operations between the two services.
“Training here is very beneficial because Seymour Johnson Air Force Base has a much smaller range limit whereas the Marines have a much larger area and they can easily work with live explosives,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Derek Horn, with 4th CES. “We learn [things] from the Marines because they operate differently than us and we’re able to take it back to our guys and show them different ways to work because it’s sometimes more effective.”
The evaluation makes for more combat-ready EOD technicians by helping the Marines bond from one another and letting them perform their jobs under a higher stress-level than they are used to while in garrison.
“Any time you have all of your guys working together to complete the same mission it builds unit cohesion and enhances unit readiness,” said Gaydeski. “If our guys were to deploy to a combat zone today, I have full faith that we would be able to complete our mission.”