MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (Feb. 24, 2012) --
In preparation for the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Air Show May 4 through 6, station explosive ordnance disposal Marines practiced various demolitions Feb. 16 at the Cherry Point explosive ordnance range.
Standing in the cold and rain, the Marines conducted various explosive exercises ranging in method and magnitude.
“Practice makes perfect,” said Gunnery Sgt. William Isele, an EOD team leader. “With the air show being a public event we don’t want to screw it up.”
The first bang was called “the wall” and consisted of a line of detonation cord used to detonate various diesel fuels.
“Today’s demo is scaled down and just a taste of what we’ll be doing at the air show,” said Isele. “We practice in order to test and perfect all the detonations used in the air show, and we do it in a safe and controlled environment.”
The second detonation was the “staggered wall” which consisted of the same ingredients as the first detonation but with twice as much explosive material staggered to make a solid wall of flame. The Marines also set up what they called “puff charges” consisting of black powder and electric matches.
Isele said since this was the first test, the technicians were getting a feel for what will be conducted at the air show.
Though the practice was scaled down from the actual air show all safety precautions were still in place. The Marines set off the explosives from more than 100 yards away.
“It’s a risk in itself dealing with high explosives,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Robertson, an explosive ordnance technician. “But dealing with high explosives in nature means more precautions have to be taken to prevent accidents and injury.”
Cold and wet, the Marines still took pleasure in the work they were doing.
“It’s always an enjoyment doing what your job entails,” said Robertson. “Seeing all the training and schooling come together and everything that you’ve invested into this job being implemented into something like the air show, it feels amazing.”