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    MRF-D provides supporting role for Australian Defence Force during Talisman Saber

    MRF-D provides supporting role for Australian Defence Force during Talisman Saber

    Photo By Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Bragg | Australian Army Capt. Andrew Carlile, the civil military organization liaison officer...... read more read more

    SHOALWATER BAY TRAINING AREA, QUEENSLAND, Australia - Marines from 2nd platoon, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment have played a significant role in bilateral training with the Australian Defence Force during Talisman Saber 2013.

    Currently designated as Marine Rotational Force – Darwin in Australia and temporarily headquartered at Robertson Barracks in Darwin, Company L, 3rd Bn., 3rd Marines has completed several field operations with Australian forces, most recently Talisman Saber. The biennial exercise is designed to enhance multilateral collaboration between U.S. and Australian forces in support of future combined operation, humanitarian assistance and natural disaster response.

    Currently participating in Talisman Saber, the MRF-D Marines are spread across the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and are playing different roles throughout the duration of the exercise. Marines from 2nd platoon are supporting the ADF most notably through role-playing as both allies and enemies.

    “It’s a good opportunity for us to play the supportive role this time around,” said Cpl. Sean McKinney, a 21-year-old team leader with 2nd platoon, Company L, 3rd Bn., 3rd Marines and native of Gaithersburg, Md., who plays the role of an insurgent. “We’re used to being the main effort in a lot of field ops, but it’s good to get a chance to see things from a different perspective.”

    “We don’t normally do the role-playing thing, and we don’t normally play the supporting side during training,” McKinney said. “This exercise is about the Australians, and you’ve just got to realize the work that goes into it. In the end you learn more about your fellow Marines and other services by just being around them.”

    More than 40 Australian service members and Marines from 2nd platoon are role-playing as residents of Waratol village. The remote community is comprised of market vendors, insurgents and a police force. Australian forces have discovered the remote community and have begun speaking with the leaders of the village in hope of becoming allies.

    “Most of the Marines are playing the roles of corrupt cops, or they’re insurgents,” said 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Ernesto Orantes, the platoon sergeant of 2nd platoon, Company L, 3rd Bn., 3rd Marines and a native of Los Angeles, who is also the sergeant of the police force within the village. “More than anything, it shows them a point of view from the enemy’s eyes. It’s easier for them to scrutinize each other, learn how not to act in a real combat environment and to take what they learn seriously.”

    Working together, the MRF-D has conducted various range operations with the ADF that allowed the different services to practice new tactics and shoot foreign weapons while training side by side.

    While designated as MRF-D, the Marines have completed different types of weapons ranges, raiding enemy compounds and outposts. Company L, 3rd Bn., 3rd Marines also conducted a Corporal’s Course that Australian soldiers completed alongside the Marines.

    “Sometimes you train and sometimes you help to train,” Orantes said. “At the end of the day it’s about accomplishing the mission, and it takes both of us working together to do that.”

    Although Talisman Saber will conclude Aug. 5, the Marines from Company L, 3rd Bn., 3rd Marines will remain in Australia and return to Darwin to continue training with Australian forces. The Marines will fly home to Marine Corps Base Hawaii at the end of their deployment in September.

    “I hope we just build a strong bond with these guys while we’re out here,” McKinney said. “By doing that, we can build a solid reputation with the Australian forces and set it up for future operations.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 07.23.2013
    Date Posted: 07.24.2013 05:23
    Story ID: 110686
    Location: SHOALWATER BAY, QLD, AU
    Hometown: GAITHERSBURG, MD, US
    Hometown: LOS ANGELES, CA, US

    Web Views: 382
    Downloads: 2

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