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LANDING ZONE FALCON, Okinawa — Marines learned how to spot and react to various types of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, during training earlier this month, according to a Marine Corps news release.

Members of the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Air Group participated in simulated combat and immediate action drills, exposing them to objects such as propane tanks and shortwave radios that could be used to make IEDs, the release said.

Simulated explosives, filled with baby powder, were hidden along a path in the Central Training Area to test the Marines’ instincts.

Instructors from IED Defeat, part of the Engineer Center of Excellence based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., said the goal is to ensure Marines are able to effectively identify IEDs and be able to respond to an explosion that results in deaths, the release said.

IED tactics used by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan are constantly progressing, said Gregory Sedia, a mobile training team instructor with IED Defeat.

“Insurgents have learned to make almost anything explode, so we try to give [Marines] a whole spectrum of what they can expect,” he said, according to the release.

Instructors said a Marine’s instincts will often lead him or her to immediately run to the aid of a wounded comrade, but instead, they should wait to see if more attacks follow, the release said. After establishing security and a safety zone, the Marine can then attempt to bring any wounded to safety.

“There can never be enough training. Because as fast as we adapt, the insurgents adapt, which is why we want [Marines] to be aware of the signs of IEDs,” Sedia was quoted as saying in the release.

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