MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines with Company B of Headquarters and Support Battalion spent the day brushing up on how to properly patrol across modern urban terrain at the Military Operations in Urban Terrain facility aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune May 9.
This event marked the first time a non-deployable unit aboard base conducted a field operation, said Capt. Craig Grindle, commanding officer of Company B.
“The Marines got a lot of training they usually wouldn’t have access to with this unit,” said Grindle. “It’s valuable training they’ll use if any of them deploy.”
Urban warfare defines combat in towns and cities. The Marine Corps first fought in urban terrain at the Battle of Hue City in 1968. The Marines cleared “house to house, street to street” in the suburbs of the city while under heavy fire. The M.O.U.T facility is usually only available to deploying units and is used to give the feeling of patrolling in an unfamiliar environment. To make it more realistic, staff played sounds and noises the Marines would hear in Afghanistan in order to overwhelm their senses.
The Marines took the training seriously, said Lance Cpl. Maria Bermeogacia, a Legal Services Specialist aboard base. It forces Marines into a combat mindest. The company was divided into three squads. Each squad patrolled the town twice. M.O.U.T staff and staff non-commissioned officers with Company B played the roles of aggressors.
“Every Marine is a rifleman,” said Grindle.“So every Marine should be prepared to be put in a situation where they need to go on a patrol or return fire.”
The Marines used the M-16A4 service rifle, but with a modified bolt that shot 5.56 simulated rounds and came equipped with flak vests and protective helmets.
“A couple of Marines took some bumps and bruises,” said Grindle. “But it’s training, we wanted to make this a realistic environment.”
Some of the Marines had combat experience and served as mentors to those who have never faced the stresses of a combat situation. The Marines took the training seriously. This marked the first field operation for Company B, but not the last.
“We’re already planning additional training events for these Marines,” said Grindle. “I want them to have every opportunity to train.”
The Marines cleared multiple rooms and buildings, maneuvered around and detected improvised explosive devices and effectively returned fire against the enemy.
Company B of Headquarters and Support Battalion effectively and successfully took over M.O.U.T town for the first time, said Grindle.