Palm Springs, CA -- Marines from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Section, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center participated in Operation Bono at Palm Springs International Airport, July 12 and 13, 2018.
The purpose of Operation Bono was to provide unique training opportunities for federal, state, and local public safety bomb squads and military EOD teams, which facilitated training and drills designed for bomb squads to employ their tradecraft while operating in the aviation domain in and around PSP airport. During the operation, the participants identified risks and threats aboard aircraft and at screening locations, from improvised explosive devices to home made explosives through the use of EOD tools, techniques and procedures such as x-rays and robotics.
Captain Isaac K. Tobiayan, officer in charge, EOD, MCAGCC, participated in Operation Bono and described a scenario that was presented to his team.
“Most of it was set up for airport type of incidents, where we doctrinally would not have done that, but at some point in time we may have to respond to the airports,” said Tobiayan, “For the security checkpoint scenario, TSA had a suspicious item that the supervisor identified within the baggage, and at that point we responded to that incident. The requirement at that point was a manual approach in a bomb suit, as well as run a robot down there.”
The importance for exercises like this one is because all government and private agencies need to speak the same jargon in the event of a widespread security concern. Gunnery Sgt. Jacob Campbell, assistant operations chief, EOD, MCAGCC, took part in this exercise and stressed that importance.
“We all collectively wanted to see how each others thought processes were, equipment-use, tactics, procedures and then additionally how we could inter-cooperate within a particular response call,” said Campbell. “I think we did that rather well.”