MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Every Marine no matter the age or rank, has something they can pass on to their brothers-in-arms. Marines with second platoon, Military Police Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, participated in a three-day event in which they refamiliarized themselves with crew-served weapons, convoy tactics and got a chance to share knowledge they’ve gained from deployments.
Marines revisited the Mark 19 grenade launcher and the M2 .50-caliber machine gun and their components, did convoy operations, called in casualty evacuations, set up perimeters and built their confidence in night vision goggles.
After the Marines received professional military education on how to take apart the .50-cal., they took turns breaking the weapon down and putting it back together, but with a twist.
The platoon was divided into squads, with each squad assigned one .50-cal. From there one Marine from each squad would run to the gun and try to dismantle and assemble the weapon as fast as they could, while their squad was engaged in squad push-ups, squad crunches, or sun gods.
“By having his Marines back there doing non-stop physical training it adds a bit of that combat stress,” said 1st Lt. Roy V. Fish, platoon commander for second platoon.
Once nightfall hit, the Marines broke out the night vision goggles and followed a trail marked by engineers tape through the woods.
For many Marines, their first instinct when donning NVGs is to take them off and let their eyes get used to the dark, because of the loss of depth perception caused by NVGs, said Fish. The reason the Marines went through the course was to overcome their instincts and learn to trust and properly use the goggles.
Along with weapons refamiliarization and NVG training, Marines also participated in convoy exercises. The events included simulated improvised explosive device patrols, dismounting and setting perimeters around vehicles, calling in casualty evacuations, securing equipment after an improvised explosive device attack and designating landing zones.
When the Marines of CLR-27 weren’t getting classes as a platoon they milled about as some of the more junior Marines were pulled aside for a quick hip-pocket class on deployment.
“We work together with newer Marines,” said Lance Cpl. Brett M. Puffenbarger, a fire-team leader and part-time platoon training non commissioned officer. “This gives everyone, from the private first class to the sergeant a chance to pass on something they’ve learned.”
The quick classes, were based on individual’s experiences while deployed.
Instructors crossed all ranks and included Marines who had deployed multiple times.
“I’ve been on two deployments,” said Puffenbarger. “I teach my gunner, who’s deploying in June, what I saw and learned while I was deployed.”
The training was necessary, but had the added benefit of camaraderie.
“I enjoy this, it’s fun, builds teamwork and brings us all closer together,” said Puffenbarger. “Everyone is laughing having a good time, it shows our new Marines the family aspect, it shows them were here to take care of them.”