News: Marines get back to basics
Story by Cpl. Laura Gauna
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – As the smoke begins to clear, the gunfire starts back up. Ammunition casings litter the ground as the Marines of Combat Logistics Battalion 5, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, execute an ambush attack aboard Camp Pendleton’s vast hilltops, March 26, 2013.
The Marines put all the training they received over the last few days towards this moment.
“As soon as we got contact, it was an adrenaline rush,” said Lance Cpl. Marilyn Flores, a motor transport operator with CLB-5 and a 21-year-old native of Bridgeport, Conn. “When things get hot, that’s when it gets exciting. We are all looking for that ten seconds of glory.”
Brass rained from the hilltops as mock opposing forces took on a squad of Marines patrolling through a small valley. Using the basic infantry skills the Marines have learned during the last week, the squad aggressively reacted to the ambush.
“The ambush happened very fast,” said Flores. “I’m glad that I knew how to react when I heard the fire and the (opposing forces) started shooting.”
Once the assault died down and the patrol assessed potential losses, instructors intervened and explained to the Marines how they could improve.
Though today’s objective was only to locate and attack a patrol unit, a more serious scenario may one day arise for the motor transportation Marines, whose sole mission is to support infantry units with 5th Marine Regiment.
“With the withdrawal out of Afghanistan, we are trying to get back to the basics of what Marines do as riflemen,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Henderson, a heavy equipment operator with CLB-5 and a 25-year-old native of Conroe, Texas. “We should all master those skills and weapons we have. It’s not just infantry. It doesn’t matter your (job) these are basic skills we should all learn.”
At this point, the instructors feel the Marines are prepared for a raid, using the skills practiced during the last week.
“The Marines gave a hundred percent no matter how tired they were,” said Henderson. “They trekked several miles during the last couple days and they pushed through the tiredness and the hungriness and they did great.”
Although the training evolution comes to a close with the final exercise, the experiences here are not easily forgotten.
“For CLB-5, our main mission is to support the infantry mission,” said Henderson. “That is our sole mission, so it’s important we are out here. These Marines are more prepared now.”