News: 1st Reconnaissance Readies for 15th MEU
Story by Lance Cpl. Seth Starr
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Marines from Bravo Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, recently conducted a combat readiness exercise aboard Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., April 8.
The exercise assessed the company’s ability to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance operations, as well as operate as a Maritime Raid Force in deployed locations with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
The Marines executed a night time, high altitude and high opening free fall from 20,000 feet. Once on the ground, they set up observation from concealed positions by means of reconnaissance and surveillance. The scenario required the teams to meet a role player acting as a contact with vital information at a predesignated location.
Sgt. Jake Edmunson, the standing team leader and assistant team leader with 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Reconnaissance Bn., said that integrating so many different moving parts in a new environment was challenging.
“This was a new thing for us because we don’t usually do things like bipartisan link ups with a contact,” said Edmunson. “Normally we act as a reconnaissance asset so it’s very out of the norm for us to get an opportunity to train like this. We’re also used to working in Camp Pendleton so the terrain up here adds a whole new factor for us.”
The training took place during a 10-day period and required 24-hour observation on targets traveling to and from key locations within the exercise area.
Master Sgt. Gerry Coronado, the operations training chief for 1st Reconnaissance Bn., said that this particular training is used to hone operational capability.
“They’re smoothing out their techniques, tactics and standard operating procedures,” said Coronado. “We want to see them build and continue to grow as viable assets to the battalion and to the 15th MEU.”
In addition, Bravo Company trained along side both Army and Air Force pilots who ran aerial support for the exercise, offering a unique training approach, aiding to the success of the teams on the ground.
Capt. Andrew Kolb, the commanding officer of Bravo Company, said incorporating other services was beneficial to the mission’s success.
“We don’t generally work with the two sister services like this so having the successful joint interoperability is a big step for us,” said Kolb. “The individual actions at the team and platoon level were absolutely phenomenal. We’re a piece of the Maritime Raid Force and the key to our success is in the sum of all those pieces put together against a common enemy.”
The company is scheduled to depart with the 15th MEU next year.