JMTC making sea warriors

5 Aug 2010 | Lance Cpl. Victor A. Barrera

For years the Joint Maritime Training Center aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune has ensured that service members who walk through its doors gain all the knowledge they can get about their maritime job during their stay.

The center is home to the Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps small boat warfare tactics and repairs schools. Both the Navy and the Coast Guard train for boat maneuvering and tactics while the Marine Corps conducts the Small Craft Maintenance course.

The Navy conducts riverine training for their sailors from a crewman all the way to unit-level leader.

Sailors learn about land navigation, call for fire and small arms training among a wide array of other skills in the Riverine Crewman course. The course is conducted four times a year and sailors who graduate go on to join units who deploy worldwide.

“Sailors who come through here initially learn basic infantry ground skills,” said Fred Sizemore, assistant site director for the Navy at the Joint Maritime Training Center aboard MCB Camp Lejeune. “We then teach them to apply those same skills on the water.”

Sailors can also take an advanced course, the Riverine Security Team, which builds on the fundamentals learned in the Riverine Crewman course and focuses on advanced tactical shooting, movement and operations in urban terrain.

The third course, Riverine Combat Skills, trains sailors on individual and crew-served weapons. They also hone their land navigation, patrolling, communications, convoy operations, tactical combat casualty care skills and offensive and defensive fundamentals.

“After they graduate from the courses here, they go to the Riverine Squadrons,” said Sizemore. “From there, they may go anywhere from Africa to South America in a moment’s notice.”

The Coast Guard offers classes which include, fast boat and tactical training.

Fast Boat Branch instructors teach pursuit tactics and safe and relevant boat tactics to Maritime Safety and Security Teams and Station and Port Security Unit coxswains.

“The Basic Tactical Operations class covers close quarters combat, fast roping, boat assaults - all of it live-fire,” said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Alvaro Vasquez, the senior enlisted Maritime Interdiction branch head at the JMTC. “It’s a seven-week course, which has about a 40 percent attrition rate.”

Coastguardsmen can expect to shoot more than 160,000 rounds of ammunition and learn how to conduct breaching techniques.

The Small Craft Maintenance course trains small craft mechanics on maintenance and repair of all the small boats in the Marine Corps’ inventory. Service members gain hands-on experience by performing preventive maintenance activities such as repatching boats and repairing engines. They also learned how to conduct troubleshooting techniques and maintenance.

Currently the training center pushes out more than 2,000 Marines, sailors and coastguardsmen, each one ready to fulfill the mission of providing support and security for the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security mission.