MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines recently received new handheld detectors to locate command detonation wires on improvised explosive devices.
The Buried Command Wire Detector is a portable device that can identify command wires of various types and diameters. Fielded to EOD Marines in the fourth quarter of 2019, the wire detector includes a one-piece foldable design that is lighter and more time-efficient than the previous systems.
The device reached Full Operational Capability for EOD Marines in September 2019.
“Instead of carrying multiple tools, Marines have one device to use for detection purposes,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Kenyon, project officer for Bridging, M9 Armored Combat Earthmover and Family of Engineer Construction Tool Kit at Marine Corps Systems Command.
Physically similar to a compact metal detector, the system is an easy-to-use device that does not require manual calibration. It is operational in a short amount of time and includes a long-lasting battery, said Kenyon.
Kenyon emphasized the importance of locating IED command wires in completing missions and protecting Marines. He noted how the BCWD supports EOD teams when disarming and destroying anti-personnel explosive devices.
In the past, these teams identified IEDs visually or by tracking components after explosion. The newer system enables Marines to accurately pinpoint command wires prior to detonation, which saves time and lives.
“The Buried Command Wire Detector allows Marines the ability to have a multi-tool detector, enhancing lethality through increased detection and identification in a hazardous environment,” said Michael Poe, team lead for MCSC’s Mobility/Counter Mobility program.
For years, Marines employed handheld metal and carbon rod detectors to ascertain remote threats. However, the BCWD has several advantages over the existing system, said Kenyon.
“The Buried Command Wire Detector has more sensors than the previous system,” said Kenyon. “The new device can detect wire and conductive material better.”
EOD Marines are the only group to have received the system. However, MCSC plans to field the BCWD to combat engineers, infantrymen, military police, artillery Marines and Light Anti-aircraft Defense teams later in fiscal year 2020.