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Raid leaders course provides new ways of doing old tasks

10 Nov 2009 | Lance Cpl. Benjamin Crilly 1st Marine Division

Doors blew open as Marines from 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment learned demolition breaching techniques at Range 219, Nov. 3.

The Raid Leaders Course, run by the Special Operations Training Group, provided 40 Marines this training opportunity.

The Raid Leaders Course is designed to instruct leaders who train Marines.

“We teach the students the basics in explosive breaching,” said Gunnery Sgt. Damien T. Rodriguez, the staff noncommissioned officer in charge for SOGT Raids Branch, from Menifee, Calif. “The students bring back the skills to conduct explosive breaching entry techniques.”

Marines learned to construct eight types of explosive charges that could assist them in gaining entry to windows, doors, fences and concrete walls. The students also learned the characteristics of explosives and how to employ them safely to perform a successful breach.

“These Marines are going to be incorporating this in a combat environment,” said Sgt. Brian D. Martin, a raid instructor with SOTG. “The more we can teach students, the more it will make them effective in accomplishing their mission.”

Although Marines have tools to breach manually, the explosives are just another option.

“Being able to get inside a building quickly using this demolition knowledge is paramount,” said Martin, from Shreveport, La. Students need to know how to quickly and safely get to their objective point and eliminate the target, said Martin.

For some of the Marines this was their first experience with demolitions.

“This training is outside of the box for me,” said Sgt. Ian D. Borge, the machine gun section leader for Company C, 1st Bn., 4th Marines. “It allows me to go into the assault man field and learn more about demolition and building entry.”

For others, this course helped them refine their skills.

“This training is a good opportunity for me because it keeps me fresh in my job and it also allows me to help teach my fellow Marines how to safely perform an assaultman’s job,” said Sgt. John J. Rush, the assault section leader for Company C, 1st Bn., 4th Marines. “Now I have 100 percent confidence in the capabilities of the non-assaultmen here.

“I know that I can rely on them to assist in constructing demolitions and when I send a charge to a squad, it will be used effectively and safely,” said Rush, from Placerville, Calif.

Most importantly the course trained the leaders to train their Marines as they prepare for deployment.

1st Marine Division