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Marines hone cross-training, demolition

22 Apr 2009 | Lance Cpl. Eugenio Montanez 1st Marine Division

Marines with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment participated in a demolition shoot here Apr. 13-18 to refine the skills of assaultmen and cross-train basic riflemen.

They built different types of breaching and repelling explosive charges, including oval charges, Bangalore torpedoes, field-expedient grape shots, doughnut charges and uliknot slider charges.

Riflemen participated in this training as well to learn the job of an assaultman.

“Assaultmen are the Marines who do this type of work, and know how to make explosives but it’s always good to have a normal infantryman learning this too,” said Lance Cpl. Jordan M. Ridder, 19, a rifleman with Company L, from Neligh, Neb. “You never know when you are going to need to breech something and not have an assaultman around.”

Marines say that cross-training is good to expand on their knowledge of skills useful in combat.

“I think that this is great because I’ve never done this type of training before, and now that I am doing it, I can go and teach other infantrymen who have never done this type of training,” said Ridder.

This demolition shoot is part of pre-deployment training to maintain the Marines’ preparation for combat.

“The training intent is to keep the Marines proficient at their jobs so they know how to do it in combat,” said 1st Lt. Michael K. Chand, 25, a platoon commander with Weapons Company from San Diego.

In this type of cross training, the riflemen get the opportunity to experience assaultmens’ jobs.

“I think that by putting us together we will understand each other,” said Ridder. “We‘re going to be out there in combat with the assaultmen and we’re going to have to know why they do certain things, like why they put (a charge) there and not somewhere else.”

Marines used different methods to construct some of the charges during the training.

“We like to use different materials to make the charges and see what happens when it goes off and find out what it could be used for,” said Lance Cpl. Eduardo Villarreal, 19, an assaultman with Company K, from McAllen, Texas. “Demolition is only limited to a Marine’s imagination.”

The Marines spent a considerable amount of time calculating and timing the fuse used to start the explosion.

“If you don’t know how to make the charges go off at the time you want them to, then someone could get hurt by the explosion,” said Villarreal. “I believe that precaution should be the first thing in an assaultman’s mind. Making sure that everything is correct before moving on to something else (is important). It doesn’t matter if it’s the smallest thing, check it.”

Marines said that this type of training is important for all infantrymen to receive.

“I think that this training is something every infantryman should be sent to and if I have the chance to do it again I would do it in a heartbeat,” said Ridder.

1st Marine Division