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Marines with 8th Engineer Support Battalion operate heavy equipment while destroying vacant beach houses at Onslow Beach, Camp Lejeune, N.C., Aug. 30. The beach houses were torn down with heavy equipment, sledge hammers and by hand. The cabanas are being destroyed to create pathways for amphibious assault vehicles during Exercise Bold Alligator slated to occur in October. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Ashley Lawson)

Photo by Cpl. Ashley Lawson

8th ESB deconstructs beach houses, builds unit cohesion

1 Sep 2017 | Cpl. Ashley Lawson Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Marines with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, deconstructed old beach houses and created improvised beach landings at Onslow Beach, Camp Lejeune, N.C., during the week of Aug. 28 in preparation for Exercise Bold Alligator.

Exercise Bold Alligator is an upcoming multinational exercise bringing the United States military together with nearly 20 NATO allies to ensure service members are able to operate efficiently at sea.

The Marines tore down outdated cabanas along the waterline using heavy equipment such as TRAMs with fork lifts and buckets, chainsaws, sledge hammers and their hands to allow amphibious assault vehicles to pass from land to shore for Bold Alligator. The houses spanned 100 feet long and 40 feet wide.

"This is allowing the Marines to gain experience and learn new skills so they feel prepared should anything happen and the Marine Corps is called upon," said 2nd Lt. Keith Macdonald, 1st platoon commander with the unit.

"My Marines are doing a fantastic job when it comes to tackling the job at hand and are ahead of schedule," said Sgt. David Jones, 2nd platoon guide with the unit.

Although this was a large scale, real-world training exercise, the Marines were able to overcome the challenges by using their knowledge of the job, each other and their leadership to accomplish the mission.

“We are a few days ahead of schedule because these Marines know their job well and are able to execute it quickly and efficiently,” said Jones.

The training exercise helped Marines understand their role as they move into Bold Alligator and begin to work with NATO allies, as well as build unit cohesion and bolster combat readiness.

“This training exercise has a positive impact on the Marine Corps as a whole because it enables us to work well with our partner nations in the future,” said Macdonald.

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