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Marine Corps Base Hawaii

"Supporting Readiness and Global Projection"

Infantrymen cross train in missiles, rockets, demolition

By Cpl. Matthew A. Callahan | Marine Corps Base Hawaii | October 18, 2013

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Crates of explosives and their components sit ready for disassembly and employment by infantry assaultmen with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment at Kaneohe Bay Range Training Facility, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Oct. 9, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Matthew Callahan)

Crates of explosives and their components sit ready for disassembly and employment by infantry assaultmen with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment at Kaneohe Bay Range Training Facility, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Oct. 9, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Matthew Callahan) (Photo by Cpl. Matthew Callahan)


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MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII --

Assaultmen with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, led a two-day live-fire range, employing a number of different explosive charges for dynamic breaching at Kaneohe Bay Range Training Facility aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Oct. 9 and 10, 2013.

The demolitions range was part of a week-long period of instruction in which assaultmen and anti-tank missilemen with the battalion cross trained in each other’s military occupational specialties to form a better understanding of the capabilities infantry Marines bring to the table.

The training between the MOS’ consisted of classes and practical application in a number of subjects characteristic of the assaultman and anti-tank missileman. The assaultmen taught classes in the employment of the MK 153 shoulder-fired, multi-purpose assault weapon, a reusable launcher that fires 83 mm rockets and gave an indepth introduction to basic demolitions and dynamic breaching. 

“The emphasis (for this range) is on breaching charges,” said Lance Cpl. Eric Togami, an assault squad leader with weapons platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Bn., 3rd Marines and Santa Barbara, Calif., native. “It familiarizes us with our main purpose as assaultmen. We provide dynamic methods of entry, breaching and removing obstacles allowing the advance of follow-on forces.”

Breaching can be achieved in multiple ways. Mechanical breaching involves the use of hand tools like Halligan bar and sledgehammers to defeat entryways such as doors and windows. Ballistic breaching utilizes shotguns to breach doorways by fi ring slugs into the doorknob housing. Dynamic breaching employs explosive charges to blast through entryways.

Marines had to calculate the net explosive weights for their charges before detonation. Doing so determines what the minimum safe distance from detonation will be for Marines.

“Each type of explosive has its own relative effectiveness factor, which is used in calculating the net explosive weight for a charge,” said Cpl. Trey Jabolnowski, an assault squad leader with Bravo Company, 1st Bn, 3rd Marines and native of Henderson, Texas.

The relative effectiveness factor for an explosive is measured to the power of trinitrotoluene according to Jabolnowski. Several calculations are made to determine standoff distance from a shielded or unshielded position from the blast and fragmentation.

“You have to calculate net explosive weight precisely to have a safe and effective detonation. One wrong calculation and it can turn into a bad day. That’s why math is vital to our jobs,” Jabolnowski said.

Missilemen with the battalion conducted classes on the M41 Saber system and M98A2 command launch unit, or Javelin.

The Saber system fi res tubelaunched, optically-tracked, wire-guided missiles from a vehicle or tripod, while the Javelin launches the FGM148 fi re and forget missile, according to Cpl. Dominic Dotson, Javelin section leader, Weapons Company, 1st Bn., 3rd Marines. The CLU attaches to the FGM148 launch tube and is more man-portable than the Saber system.

“We went over practical application and setting the systems up on the ground and mounting them to vehicles,” Dotson said. “We gave classes to the assaultmen on employment of the weapons systems, misfire procedures and hang fires. We taught them how to take care of the weapons and the various methods of maintenance and cleaning.”

The Marines also discussed tactics, techniques and procedures for Javelin and Saber missions with assaultmen.

“It was really cool to do all the cross training,” Dotson said. “Our MOS’s share a lot of consistencies and it gives everyone a better understanding of what we’re capable as one operating unit.”

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