News: Marines trade tanks for golf carts
Story by Cpl. Donovan Lee
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines with 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, conducted tank maneuvers and tactics using golf carts at the Paradise Point Golf Complex, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Dec. 10.
Charlie Company tank commanders utilized golf carts to practice tactics at the platoon and company level. The golf carts enabled 2nd Tanks to conserve money and manpower. If they had used actual tanks for the training, they would have needed eight square kilometers and 4,000 gallons of gas, according to 1st Lt. Graham Johnson, Charlie Company executive officer.
“By conducting the training using golf carts, we were able to train on doctrinal formations and the fundamentals of fire and maneuver in less than one percent of the space needed for tanks,” said Johnson. “As for fuel, we did not need any logistical support, since the golf course provided everything at no cost. Ultimately, we were able to take what would have been a major muscle movement for the company and trim it down into the bare essentials.”
While at the golf course, the tank commanders reviewed the standard operating procedures and the thinking process when conducting tactical decisions.
“The training not only provided us with the opportunity to put these skills to practical use, but it also allowed for the practice of command and control at a higher level,” said Capt. Jeffery Potter, Charlie Company commander.
Tanks require a lot of space and resources to conduct training. Although not a traditional training method, utilizing golf carts to employ tactical training allowed the battalion to save money, resources and allowed for easier mobility.
The Marines have conducted training at the platoon level, but the Camp Lejeune terrain proves challenging when operating at the company level. This training is valuable, because it provided the opportunity to put all of the platoon pieces together into a company maneuver, said Johnson.
Overall, the golf carts are an effective way for the Marines to get invaluable training. It allows them to simulate live maneuvers on a scale in which corrections could be made easily, according to Johnson.
“By using the golf carts out on the range, we were able to scale everything down to a size that still allows us to rehearse our tactical employment,” said Potter. “It takes the effort of the entire company and support from the battalion to conduct company training when utilizing our tanks. Using the golf carts allowed us to complete valuable training while minimizing the burden on the masses.”
“The ability to train company level maneuvers is vital, and the opportunity to hone the skills of the tank commanders is invaluable,” said Potter.
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