News: Immediate action drills test students' reactions
Story by Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos
QUANTICO, Va. - A squad of Marines patrolled an area, known to be filled with enemy insurgents, on their way to the objective point. Along their route they came across a linear danger area. To avoid exposure from a possible enemy attack, the squad leader used his immediate action drills to move his squad safely across.
Charlie Company, The Basic School, underwent immediate action drills while on foot patrols at Landing Zone 7, May 23.
“This is in preparation for their convoy training next week,” said Sgt. James Gray, warfighting instructor, Dugout Platoon, TBS. “Everything they learn out here they’re going to not only use next week, but when they hit the [operating forces].”
Combat instructors provided students with a demonstration on five different IA drills they need to know before going on a patrol.
“[IA drills] play such an important role in combat; if something happens and your squad begins to take fire, your entire squad needs to know how to react,” Gray said. “Knowing all of your [IA drills] gives more options which, ultimately, saves lives.”
The five different IA drills covered were: linear danger area, used to crossroads or a stream; cross compartment danger area, used in an open area such as a plain or a landing zone; chance of contact, used in patrolling in a enemy infested-area; hasty ambush, used to avoid contact; and an offensive measure to make contact and indirect fire, used during incoming mortars or enemy fire.
“Seeing it in action and getting to do it hands on is the best way to learn this,” said 2nd Lt. Stephen Cricchio, a student with Charlie Company, TBS. “We spend a lot of time going over this in the classroom with PowerPoint presentations. Seeing it done brings it all together.”
“The demonstration went off without a hitch, you can tell the instructors really know what they’re doing,” said 2nd Lt. Tatiana Zappardino, a student with Charlie Co., TBS. “I can’t wait to put it into action next week.”
After completing the IA drill training, Charlie Company will continue on to convoy patrol exercise.
“They’re all doing a great job,” Gray said. “You can tell they’re eager to learn and put their skills to the test.”