News: Philippines, U.S. integrate to conduct squad attacks
Story by Lance Cpl. David Hersey
NAVAL STATION LEOVIGILDO GANTIOQUI, SAN ANTONIO, ZAMBALES, Republic of the Philippines – Communication is key to accomplishing the mission when working as a team, especially if your team is moving under heavy enemy fire to get to the next objective.
Philippine and U.S. Marines returned to the basics as their combat readiness was tested Oct. 7 while performing squad attack drills at Naval Station Leovigildo Gantioqui, San Antonio, Zambales, Republic of the Philippines, during Amphibious Landing Exercise 2014.
The Philippine and U.S. militaries often engage in bilateral training during exercises like PHIBLEX 14 in the common interest of regional security.
“The drill is designed to test the Marines’ ability to work together while engaging the target,” said Sgt. Nathan A. Bretz, a machine gunner with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, currently assigned to the ground combat element, 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
During the exercise, U.S. and Philippine Marines combined into four-man teams to execute the training. The teams then engaged a series of targets while performing buddy rushes to close the distance.
The drill is a way for the Marines to practice combat tactics and communication while closing with a target, according to Bretz.
“Safety is paramount and the Marines have to watch each other’s backs while out in the field,” said Bretz. “This training helps them to refine the individual and group movement skills they could potentially use to keep themselves and their teammates safe.”
The Philippine Marines were grateful for the opportunity to work with the U.S. Marines, according to Philippine Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ruel V. Dilla, a coxswain with PMC.
“They demonstrate the tactics they developed through their experience and knowledge,” said Dilla. “When we finish here, we can go back to our units and add these to our own methods and use them for our country’s defense.”
Working side-by-side and moving together during the attacks, both Philippine and U.S. Marines benefited by practicing this basic skill, keeping it fresh in their minds in case they ever work together in the future.
“We are honing our own skills while finding out where the Philippine Marines are in their own tactics; and either showing them something new they can use or helping them to improve the skills they already have,” said Bretz.