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Convoy Op, IED prevention maintain Marines’ readiness

Lance Cpl. Bruno J. Bego 2nd Marine Logistics Group

Successfully completing convoy operations through terrain heavily saturated by improvised explosive devices, like Afghanistan, can be challenging and dangerous.

Eighteen Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 22, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, embarked on a daylong convoy IED-awareness drill that took them 12 miles into the deepest training areas on Fort Bragg, N.C., recently.

"The main idea was to show the Marines step-by-step how a basic tactical convoy movement works," said Sgt. Timothy D. Dankemeyer, the CLB-22 motor transportation chief. "Basically, how to disperse the vehicles during stops, post convoy security, scan and sight possible IED threats and in case the convoy gets hit, practice how to perform a (medical evacuation)."

During the convoy, Marines were challenged with obstacles such as road side bombs and mine fields.

"The hardest part for the Marines, I believe, was the patience they had to have while waiting from 45 minutes to an hour for the quick reaction force to do their job and make sure the road was clear to continue," Dankemeyer said.

Marines not only learned the basics to clearing IEDs, but they also learned how to properly MEDEVAC casualties.

"I think my Marines did a great job during the exercise," Dankemeyer said. "Especially for the amount of experience they have, some are new to the unit and some haven’t even deployed yet, so the overall performance was what I expected."

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines played an important role during the exercise by providing realistic training material.

"In today’s combat environment, IEDs are the number one threat. That’s why we take IED awareness training very seriously," pointed out Chief Warrant Officer 3 Luke A. Moore, the EOD officer-in-charge with CLB-22. "My biggest issue, regardless of the Marine’s occupation, is complacency."

The training exercise puts Marines in real life scenarios where they will have to perform the appropriate action according to the situation.

"Marines don’t like to be wrong," Moore expressed with serious concern. "If they see something suspicious they prefer to make sure there is an actual IED on the road.

"They feel like they will waste their and our time and nothing can be more wrong than that mindset," said Moore. "That only means they are paying attention and trying to save lives by doing the right thing."

Proper preparation is key to accomplishing any mission, but with an invisible enemy that can hit when least expected, training can mean the difference between success and failure.


Reprinted with Special Permission from “The Globe” Camp Lejeune

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