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New facility to help troops defeat IEDs unveiled

A state-of-the-art improvised explosive device (IED) training facility, that will help Marines identify and neutralize IEDs (which in many cases are roadside bombs), was unveiled during a ribbon cutting ceremony at Camp Pendleton, March 25.

The nine million dollar complex comes complete with a four lane road and urban buildings that simulate conditions similar to what Marines might see while deployed.

According, Joint IED Defeat Organization’s Web site, the training facility was designed to help students better assess threats and gather evidence in a tactical environment while using specific IED search procedures with the appropriate detection equipment.

Students attending the IED training course will learn metal detector operation, visual IED threat identification, vehicle mine rollers system maneuvering and other specialized IED defeating techniques.

“The number one threat in Afghanistan is IEDs” said Col. Nicholas Marano, commanding officer, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “This new facility will give Camp Pendleton Marines real integrated IED defense capabilities, ensuring the overall safety of themselves and the Marines around them.”

To reduce putting Marines in harms way, the course also provides an extensive robot operation training that provides basic handling of the Multi-function Agile Remote Control robot and PackBot Tactical Robot that are primarily used to remotely identify IEDs.

The new training complex, funded by the Joint IED Defeat Organization, also includes a classroom equipped with an advanced touch-screen projection system that makes for a more effective learning environment.

Visitors attending the opening ceremony were given an interactive tour of the new training center, where they witnessed staged IED explosions and suicide bomber scenarios that were carried out by the facility’s instructors.

“This IED training is the best the Corps has to offer,” said Aaron Pluff, instructor, Mobile Training Cadre, Camp Pendleton.

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