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Sgt. Alex Strait, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician, Combat Center EOD, teaches a member of the Drug Enforcement Administration Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association how to move in an EOD bomb suit aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Jan. 26, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Connor Hancock)

Photo by Cpl. Connor Hancock

CG’s Tour Program showcases Combat Center

26 Jan 2017 | Cpl. Connor Hancock Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

The Combat Center’s Government and External Affairs G-5 hosted members of the Drug Enforcement Administration Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association of Los Angeles, during a tour of the Combat Center Jan. 26, 2017.

The event was conducted under the Commanding General’s Tour Program, which is designed to offer insight for community members to learn more about the Combat Center and how Marines and sailors train aboard the installation.

Adam Clancy, operations officer and tour manager, G-5, escorted the DEACAA members during three events that helped showcase Marine Corps combat operations.

“As an infantry Marine, it's been rewarding helping the tour groups understand the fight, the stress and a little bit of reality of what the Marines may face,” Clancy said. “Describing the training to someone, vice showing them and letting them experience a small part of it, makes a huge difference and is a great eye opener.”

The tour began at Range 800, where guests learned basic knowledge of countering improvised explosive devices. Melvin Harris, counter IED instructor, Marine Corps Engineer School, took the lead in instructing the DEACAA members on different tools Marines and sailors use to avoid IED’s, such as the Holley Stick, a tool used exclusively by Marine Corps explosive ordnance disposal technicians, that provides them with the capability to investigate and manipulate a suspect IED from a stand-off distance.

Next they toured the Combat Convoy Simulator, where they were able to learn how Marines train for simulated convoy operations. They also learned how to operate simulated .50 caliber machine guns, M-4 and M-16 rifles.

Finally, the DEACAA toured the Combat Center’s EOD compound, where they had an opportunity to step into an EOD bomb suit, drive remote controlled bomb disposal robots, and ask the EOD technicians questions.

The Commanding General’s Tour Program runs from October through April for adults 18 and older and those interested are required to make reservations 45 days in advance. The base provides the tours for free; the only cost to participants is lunch at one of the restaurants aboard the installation.

For full details on the tour program visit http://www.29palms.marines.mil/Staff/G5-Government-and-External-Affairs/Tours/ or call (760) 830-3735.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms