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thedrifter
04-12-09, 07:28 AM
New training areas constructed to reduce IED casualties

4/10/2009 By Sgt. Vitaliy Rusavskiy , Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — In response to the threat of roadside bombs troops face overseas, the Training Resource Management Division on Camp Pendleton is spearheading new construction projects designed to help Marines battle improvised explosive devices.

The TRMD is building the first multi-faceted IED lane training site at the Bravo One Training Area to provide counter-IED measure training that can help reduce casualties in warzones.

“The IED lane is a $9.2 million military construction project that was briefed to and approved by Congress,” said Brandy Gaitens, project coordinator, TRMD, Camp Pendleton.

The training consists of three evolutions, each having it’s own classes and practical-application portions.

The awareness IED lane is the first phase of the training. Marines attend a class to learn the basic functions of IEDs, then move to the practical application portion. The students walk through the IED lane to visually inspect IED components hidden in the terrain. They are taught to pay attention to sidewalks, curbs and guardrails to familiarize themselves with potentially hazardous areas.

“Typically, they will be in the vehicle looking for (IED’s), but walking through this training lane gives them a better view of what different components look like,” Gaitens said. “The Marines will be able to spot hidden wires, hidden IEDs in trash piles and antennas sticking out of the ground.”

Lane two consists of mounted and dismounted patrol sections, featuring a Military Operations in Urban Terrain town.

The MOUT town will include bus stops, a mosque, industrial and residential sections and a market place. It will even incorporate role players to enhance the feel of a functioning city.

“The MOUT town is not intended for Marines to go through and clear buildings; it is used for going through the city and finding indicators of IEDs that were taught in the awareness lane,” Gaitens said.

Special fake IEDs that simulate explosions will be sporadically placed throughout the MOUT town, Gaitens said.

The biggest loop is lane three. Slightly more than three miles, it is specifically designed for a mounted patrol and also has MOUT town features. The lane includes a pedestrian overpass, which is intended to familiarize Marines with danger areas that can lurk overhead.

“All three IED lanes will have a mix of asphalt, concrete and dirt to see the different types of material an IED can be buried in,” Gaitens said.

The IED lanes were originally constructed to simulate terrain commonly found in Iraq, but can be easily transitioned to the Afghan environment, Gaitens said.

The new training will also include familiarization with counter-radio controlled improvised explosive device systems, and multi-function, agile remote control robots.

There are 25 instructors to guide Marines through training evolutions that are contracted by the Engineering Center of Excellence, Training and Education Command, Quantico, Va., Gaitens said.

The instructors are a part of the Mobile Training Team West and they train service members at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Camp Pendleton, Okinawa, Japan and other locations.

Camp Pendleton’s unique geographic location makes it easy to prepare Marines for Afghan terrains, Gaitens said.

The IED lane construction is scheduled to be completed July 15.

“In the near future, we are planning to install tactical video capturing systems and positioning location indicators to monitor the training areas,” Gaitens said.

Ellie