CAMP SCHWAB, OKINAWA, Japan – A Marine shouts, “Fire in the hole!”
The proclamation leads to a moment of stillness; silence fills what will soon be a blast site. A loud “whump” precedes an earth-shaking shockwave. Dirt lifts from the floor. One can feel a rattle in the center of their chest and an intense heat wave radiates through the air. A sound like thunder erupts and disappears into the Okinawan jungle.
The explosion was not an emergency – it was a late celebration for the Marine Corps’ 245th birthday. A celebration carried in the midst of the potential future of foreign ordnance exploitation.
Explosive ordnance disposal technicians from across III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installations Pacific gathered to participate in an ordnance exploitation proof of concept range on Nov. 16 – Nov. 25 at Camp Schwab.