News: Marines clear path in training
Story by Pfc. Dalton Precht
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Smoke filled the air at the end of the breaching and clearing exercise signifying that the Marines with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, had accomplished their task and maneuvered through the course successfully.
In this field exercise, Marines had to use the four basic combat engineer qualities of mobility, counter mobility, assault and general engineering to breach and clear the training area, and build a forward operating base.
First Lieutenant John M. Lunbeen, the heavy equipment platoon commander, was in charge of planning all the heavy equipment operations for the exercise Sept. 12, 2013.
Lunbeen’s platoon is in charge of conducting all the heavy equipment operations for Combat Engineer Battalion.
Approximately 30 Marines from Mobility Assault Company, 2nd CEB took part in the actual breaching and clearing portion, and approximately 70 Marines total from 2nd CEB took part in the overall field exercise, Lunbeen said.
Marines from Alpha Company, 2nd CEB, designed and constructed the engineer course with the help of heavy equipment operators, Lunbeen said. The breaching and clearing course consisted of coiled razor wire, tank ditches and berms for the Marines to navigate through.
Lance Cpl. Alexander G. Delphia, a heavy equipment operator with 2nd CEB, took part in the training exercise by moving gear and building berms.
“The hardest part of being a combat engineer is learning some of the techniques for building and tearing things down,” Delphia said. “Once you get out here in a field exercise, you realize what you can actually do with a piece of equipment.”
Combat engineers perform many important tasks, from building training areas and clearing obstacles to building or deconstructing forward operating bases.
“Combat engineers move everything that the Marine Corps needs us to,” Delphia said. “From forks to heavy equipment we also are qualified in using the equipment for many tasks.”
“My favorite thing is that everyone has their own way of building or tearing down, and it lets you build off of what people before you have done,” Delphia said.
At the combat engineers’ school, Marines learn basic techniques so when they hit the fleet they can expand their knowledge and find their own way of doing things.
“When you get out here in training environments, you get to use things you would in combat,” Delphia said.