MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
“Landing in a hostile country, moving into an (enemy’s) backyard, punching them in the face, taking something from them, and then turning around and leaving back on the ship.”
That is how Capt. Thomas Carey, the commanding officer of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, explained the concept of a motorized raid to the Marines of his company, in its simplest form, during a Motorized Raid Course, which ran Oct. 24 to Nov. 4, at various training sites throughout the base.
The company serves as the motorized raid force for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Battalion Landing Team and has the responsibility to insert into areas using tactical vehicles, raid a target objective, and egress back to amphibious shipping that the 24th MEU is embarked on.
“Basically, it’s a hit and run,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jose Martins, the platoon commander for C Company's Weapons Platoon. “You hit the objective, you do your mission and you get out. You waste no time. You don’t want them to know what happened.”
The two-week course hosted by Special Operations Training Group (SOTG) took place as a way for the company to develop the foundation for their standard operating procedures, and develop cohesion amongst the Marines, according to Carey.
The training centered on all the intricacies involved with conducting raids including military operations in urban terrain, understanding the roles and responsibilities of the company’s platoons, and how to employ all available assets within the MEU’s capabilities to ensure mission success.
In the first week of the course, the Marines divided into an assault element, support element and security element to focus on mission specific tasks. In the second week of the course, the company took part in raid scenarios, run by SOTG, similar to how they would actually receive missions. The Marines would receive the mission, then have six hours to plan and prepare before assaulting their objective.
“The purpose of this course is to strengthen the Marines’ skills in raid procedures,” said Martins, a native of Queens Village, N.Y. “From getting a mission, being able to react to that mission, and coordinate that mission, and have actions on that mission within six hours.”
The raid scenarios, carried out during both the day and night, were fraught with simulated versions of the peril Marines may encounter in real life including fake improvised explosive devices and role players acting as terrorists.
“Anything we do is about what could happen … no plan survives contact with the enemy,” said Carey, a native of Damascus, Md. “The Marines’ ability to use initiative, and react, and adjust to the plan and continue to execute the mission, is overall probably one of the more important things they will learn here.”
The Motorized Raid Course is one of three raid courses the 24th MEU’s ground combat element will attend. Bravo Co. previously attended the Air Raid Course where they trained in conducting missions using aircraft like the MV-22 Osprey and CH-53E Super Stallion. Alpha Company, the BLT’s Mechanized Raid Force, is scheduled to conduct the Mechanized Raid Course Nov. 7-18.