News: Nighttime squad challenge prepares Marines for upcoming deployment
Story by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Fatigue consumed their bodies as their muscles trembled and minds strained while they made their way through an obstacle course during the night’s darkness.
Approximately 200 servicemembers with Combat Logistics Battalion 6, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group participated in a series of squad challenges during the low light hours here, Jan. 15.
The unit established a command operations center, or COC, which in this case was a centrally-located building used by the leaders to monitor and track the progress of the groups as they ventured through the course.
The troops set out with fully loaded packs to 10 stations – each separated by half a mile. At each stop, one servicemember solved a mental challenge while the rest of the team performed a physically demanding challenge at each station.
“We want to simulate some of the fatigue you will be experiencing in combat,” said Capt. Jason C. Moore, a Florence, S.C., native, and future operations officer with CLB-6. “The goal is to tire the Marines out while they are going from station to station, so they can build some fatigue as they get evaluated.”
Once arriving at a station, for example, one Marine would disassemble and assemble the M-240B machine gun, .50-caliber machine gun and M-16/A4 service rifle while other teammates had to perform a physically challenging event like push-ups, squats, mountain climbers, or burpees. The physical pain would continue until the mental challenge was conquered.
The exercise was designed to ensure the Marines were proficient in the basics of combat readiness. They had to rely on each other’s physical strength and mental sharpness to complete each test.
“At the end of the day, we are Marines,” said 2nd Lt. Tyler A. Mach, a Lincoln, Neb., native, and assistant logistics officer with the battalion. “Physical activity is always good for us; pushing yourself mentally and physically is what it’s all about.”
As the Marines completed each station, they radioed the COC to notify the command of the group’s progress.
When the Marines report their positions it gives the COC the practice of tracking their movements and gives the team more experience, said Moore.
This training is a milestone as the unit prepares for its deployment because it combines boots-on-the-ground with command training, Moore added.
Each group contained a mix of Marines from different companies within the battalion, testing their ability to work as a team.
“This will mirror what we do in [Afghanistan] to pull off a combat logistics patrol,” said Moore. “It’s not just the effort of one company, the Marines have to get used to working together, and this is one way to foster that.”