US Marines Build Underground Defense System

US Marine Corps engineers completed the construction of an underground defense system during a recent field exercise in North Carolina.

The exercise was held to gauge the effectiveness of subterranean defensive positions for future warfare.

The chevron-shaped underground system was covered by soil at ground level to camouflage bunkers for soldiers to avoid detection.

“We’re conducting a three-bunker subterranean system interconnected with culvert piping,” engineer equipment officer Dario Ramirez said. “These materials can be found anywhere around the world, and that’s why the company commander decided to choose these materials.”

Previously, the US Marines only performed shallow excavation, installing shelters at ground level and covering them with camouflage netting to avoid detection.

However, these shelters are noticeable by drone cameras.

US Marines bunker
The hidden bunkers are designed to help soldiers avoid enemy detection. Photo: Lance Cpl. Meshaq Hylton/US Marines

‘Thinking Outside the Box’

According to heavy equipment operations chief John Gillen, improved underground defense system construction will provide the US Marines with more capabilities for future missions.

“The purpose is to be undetected and operate in the defense,” he said.

Platoon commander Muriel Waring explained that the Marine corps is trying to “think outside the box” to find new ways of fighting.

Investing in underground systems is not new to the US Army. In 2017, the service launched a $572 million initiative to train and equip dozens of active combat brigades to fight in large-scale subterranean facilities.

Last year, the army also demonstrated how robotic and autonomous platforms can assist soldiers during underground operations.


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