News: “Island Warriors” train for tactical convoy operations
Story by Sgt. Anthony Kirby
CONVOY LIVE-FIRE EXERCISE RANGE, South Korea - In a hostile environment, even a seemingly simple resupply mission can turn into a firefight. The constant threat of danger is one of the many reasons motor transportation Marines train as realistically as possible.
Motor transportation Marines with Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, executed a tactical convoy training course March 6 at Convoy Live-Fire Exercise Range, Republic of Korea.
The battalion is currently assigned to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program.
The training takes place over a four-part, three-kilometer course designed to instruct and guide Marines on convoy tactics, techniques and procedures.
“We have to haul out gear, water and food to those Marines who need it,” said Sgt. Corey L. Green, a motor vehicle operator and platoon sergeant with H&S Co. “We need to know how to protect ourselves in case something happens.”
While driving Humvees, the Marines were expected to identify simulated improvised explosive devices. Once they identified a threat, they executed immediate action drills to include moving to a safe distance, clearing the area, and providing security around the suspected IED while contacting an explosive ordnance disposal unit.
As the course continued, the Marines were challenged by a simulated IED detonation that transitioned to a complex ambush. While executing the immediate actions from earlier in the course, the Marines returned fire using Humvee-mounted M240 medium machine guns. Simultaneously, the Marines assessed and escorted simulated casualties to a Humvee designated as a casualty evacuation vehicle.
The final part of the course required the Marines to establish a landing zone capable of facilitating air evacuations for simulated casualties.
“We try to make these courses as realistic as possible,” said Green. “(They) resemble what some of the Marines who have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan have seen. That’s why parts of the course were combined and random (obstacles) thrown in – to cause a hectic environment and give the Marines less time to think.”
The training improves the Marines' decision-making skills and gives them the opportunity to train with tactical radios and M240 medium machine guns, according to 1st Lt. Ryan J. Salisbury, a logistics officer with H&S Co.
“This (training) helps us organically support our convoys,” said Salisbury. “Having our guys trained in using the machine guns allows us to execute the mission and be confident in our security posture.”