Thursday, August 7, 2008

EOD, Engineers level city block

AT-TAQADDUM, Iraq (July 30, 2008) – When Marines leave the wire carrying nearly a ton of C-4, the result is sure to be explosive.

Explosive ordnance disposal technicians, engineers and heavy equipment Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 374, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), leveled the equivalent of an entire city block here July 30.

The aptly named, long deserted “Pancake Village,” dubbed so due to the high amount of demolition the village saw during previous engagements, had become a jump-off point for insurgent activity, as well as an eyesore to local Iraqis. Graffiti, uncertain structural integrity and strategic location made the town a growing danger to Iraqis and Coalition forces; so, the Marine Corps turned it into dust.

“We have 247 120 mm rounds, 80 (Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-guided) missiles, and 1,288 blocks of C-4,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ralph G. Morlang, officer in charge, EOD, MWSS-374. Morlang said the ammunition they used to flatten Pancake Village was H-ammo, or unserviceable rounds. The engineers and HE operators appreciated the help afforded from the old ordnance.

“We couldn’t safely level the buildings with vehicles,” said Sgt. Benjamin T. Miller, 26, New Plymouth, Ind., HE operator, MWSS-374. Miller said that maneuvering a bulldozer around the buildings would put the operator in an unsafe position.

The operation was too big and too dangerous for HE operators and engineers alone, so EOD answered the call.

“(This mission) is good for operational security,” said Sgt. Gary T. Jackson, EOD technician, 25, McAlester, Ok. “Now, we won’t have to worry about people living out here and planting (improvised explosive devices) or setting up an ambush on one of the main roads.”

Despite the work it took to wire up a city block’s worth of C-4, EOD seemed happy to participate.

“Anytime the engineers need help with a project,” Jackson said, “EOD is more than willing to grab the pack straps and help them charge into the fight.”


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 08/11/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

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