News: 7th ESB train at Infantry Immersion Trainer
Story by Lance Cpl. Jerrick J. Griffin
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- In preparation for a deployment to Afghanistan, Marines and sailors from Security Platoon, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group conducted training at the Infantry Immersion Trainer here, Feb 7.
The Infantry Immersion Trainer simulates a Middle Eastern village. The buildings replicate Afghan structures complete with a farmers market and a mosque. To give the IIT a realistic human presence there are also role-players from Afghanistan.
“The role-players really make this course realistic,” said Sgt Kristopher Fabbro, platoon sergeant, 1st platoon, security platoon, 7th ESB, CLR-1, 1st MLG. “This [course prepares] the Marines to properly [interact] with the locals.”
During the training the Marines were presented with scenarios which included vehicle recovery and patrolling through a village.
Having the Marines train with actual Afghan civilians during the course provides the Marines with an experience similar to what they will face when they deploy. It helps them understand Afghan culture and beliefs better.
“This place is very similar to Afghanistan,” said Bahram Sarwary, who served as the linguist for the Marines during the training evolution and also is from Afghanistan. “There are a lot of the same type of buildings and stores there.”
Sarwary explained that the role players conduct themselves here the same way local citizens do in Afghanistan.
During the scenarios, instructors observed the Marines utilizing all of the tactics they have been taught. After the Marines completed the scenario, the instructors critiqued them what they were doing correctly and incorrectly.
“We did a lot of things right during the training but we also did some things wrong,” said Cpl. Charles Eichler, motor transport operator, security company, 7th ESB, CLR-1, 1st MLG. “The instructors pointed out the things we can do better and the next time we go through we will know what to do and how to handle the situations.”