MARIINE CORPS AIR STATION BEUAFORT, S.C. --
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines conducted explosive inerting training aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, July 25.
Explosive inerting is a technique that the EOD Marines use to take an ordnance item apart, clean it out and keep for later purposes as a training aid. These same techniques and knowledge then can be used to inert new or unknown ordnance items in a forward deployed environment.
“Today’s training exercise is an essential skill to have,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 James Morgan, an EOD Technician with MCAS Beaufort EOD. “In a real world scenario our Marines could come across ordnance that is unfamiliar. They need to be able to understand how to safely take it apart and all the components that make it work.”
EOD Marines conduct inerting training at least once a quarter. The Marines worked on inerting the M72 Law Rocket which has seen use in the U.S. military since 1963.
“We picked LAW’s because they have one of the most complex fuses that we have in U.S. ordnance,” said Sergeant Matthew Eades an EOD Technician with Marine Wing Support Detachment 31. “Taking apart this item and trying to understand how the fuse works and all the other aspects of this munition is only going to help us be better prepared if we come across it in the future.”
Inerting is also used in gathering foreign weapons intelligence and providing quality assurance checks for weapons contractors who provide the ordnance used. The Marine Corps is the only service that conducts inerting for mishap investigations and quality assurance reasons.
“If a supply company is doing an investigation on a bad mortar fuse, we would be the ones who investigate and report our findings,” said Eades. “If a mishap or accident occurs, we are the ones who figure out what happened and why. Our report will help to make a better and safer weapon while giving us the knowledge and experience.”
The Marines also had the opportunity to work with a new piece of equipment to aid them in their exercise called the Remote Fuse Disassembly System. The RFDS is comprised of a drill head with different motors. The system can remotely drill, cut, and punch the fuse on ordnance. This allows the Marines to safely disarm the ordnance they come across.
“Safety is always paramount when we conduct exercises like this,” Said Gunnery Sergeant Vance Bercot an EOD technician with MCAS Beuafort EOD. “Today we are keeping and eye on the weather and utilizing proper protection equipment such as, eye protection, flight suits and gloves.
Conducting this training also allows the unit to update EOD training manuals. As they complete each step of inerting, they document their progress. This could later assist other EOD units with their training.
“We update these training manuals to share our knowledge and ensure that the manuals are accurate,” Eates said. ‘Sometimes the manuals will say that a component is orange when it’s really black. That is a detail that another unit will need to know, to safely complete their mission.
The inerting training and documentation used during this exercise will help Marines share their across the EOD military occupational specialty. With The skills and knowledge learned by the individual Marines they will be able to assess, document, and disarm unknown ordnance, safely completing their mission in any clime or place.