MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Silently, an arm is raised giving a signal to move forward. One by one, Marines with 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment emerge and advanced to a small training town to conduct their final single element urban environment raid exercise here.
These Marines are the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s assault element in a Helo Raid, and trained in basic tactics for urban raids during the first three days of the Heliborne Company Raid Course. The 10 day course helps prepare Marines for urban raids by training all three elements to depart from an aircraft in a landing zone and approach, enter, and secure different types of buildings.
“The assault platoon is the first one in a building,” said Cpl. Stephen Healy, squad leader, 3rd Platoon, A Co, BLT 1/6. “But today [the instructors] threw a curve ball at us by creating casualties.”
Instructors from Special Operations Training Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, supervised each platoons’ performance during each exercise, ensuring Marines understand and execute certain training objectives.
“The training objectives that I needed to have met during that exercise were met and then some,” said Gunnery Sgt. Eric M. Brown, Lead Assault Element Instructor, SOTG, II MEF. “This assault element was a little (more) advance than some of the other elements I’ve worked with.”
With the majority of the Marines being new to the fleet, it makes them more impressionable, which gives an advantage for an instructor, he added.
As 3rd platoon successfully completed the course, evaluators observed a lot of positive results.
“The majority of my squad is fairly new, fairly green, and haven’t been in the fleet that long, and as new as they are they did really well,” said Cpl. Healy, a Pickney, Mich., native. “These exercises have shown me that I can rely on them to do the right thing if they are needed.”
The Heliborne Company Raid Course is part of many training operations to help prepare the Marines for the upcoming deployment with the 24th MEU in 2008.