Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton: MCSC begins commissioning amphibious robot system for coastal missions


QUANTICO, Virginia –

In September, Marine Corps Systems Command began deploying an amphibious unmanned robot system to support coastal operations globally.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Remote Control Vehicle is a next-generation box-shaped robot that allows Marines to safely and effectively navigate shallow water to identify and neutralize explosion hazards and other threats.

“This robot gives the Marines their eyes in the water,” said Master Sgt. Patrick Hilty, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Project Officer at MCSC. “It’s an ability the Marine Corps has never had before.”

The ROV uses sound navigation and telemetry sensors, high definition video capability, and cameras that provide real-time information to EOD divers. It features an articulated arm that helps Marines maneuver through underwater foliage or neutralize explosive threats.

“It’s a system that saves sea divers from swimming hundreds of meters, an activity that can tire them out,” said Hilty.

Marines can use the robot for a variety of amphibious missions. For example, they can use the ROV to search for ports before docking a Marine Expeditionary Unit vessel. Operators can use it for very shallow water activities, shoreline lost object searches, damage assessments and mine countermeasures missions.

Hilty applauded the ROV’s tether feature, which keeps EOD technicians at a safe distance from explosion hazards. Prior to the capability, marine divers could only disrupt or eliminate underwater explosive threats by swimming in close proximity, exposing them to hostile elements.

“The ROV gives us a remote way to search underwater while also helping us stay at our best when we need to pursue explosive devices,” Hilty said.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Jackson, a non-commissioned officer in charge of the coastal explosive ordnance disposal section of 1st EOD Company, said the ROV is very stable in an underwater environment. He noted how the machine requires minimal equipment and reduces the overall Marine Corps footprint during operations.

“This intuitive system has the ability to accomplish critical underwater tasks much deeper than manned missions,” Jackson said.

This press release was produced by Pendleton Marine Corps Base Camp. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.

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