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    Survival techniques prepare Malaysian Army, US Marines for jungle operations

    Survival techniques prepare Malaysian Army, US Marines for jungle operations

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Stephen Himes | U.S. Marine Cpl. Michael Taylor prepares a freshly caught fish as part of a jungle...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Stephen Himes 

    III Marine Expeditionary Force   

    TELUK GOREK BEACH, Malaysia – In the remote jungles of Malaysia, 17 different types of poisonous plants exist. Three of those plants are fatal to humans. Vicious tigers, scavenging monkeys and poisonous insects also call these jungles their home.

    In dangerous environments such as this, specialized knowledge is required to survive, and U.S. Marines with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, gained crucial skills by training with Malaysian Armed Forces on advanced jungle survival techniques June 1-5 at Teluk Gorek Beach, Malaysia, during Exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2014.

    “From country to country we learn completely different nuances to jungle survival that are different in each region,” said U.S. Marine 1st Lt. Nicholas Engle, the executive officer for Company B, 1st Bn., 8th Marines, currently assigned to 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program. “These soldiers come out here with combat gear only and sustain themselves off the land for months at a time. They are passing that knowledge on to us as we will pass on amphibious assault knowledge when the time comes."

    The training will hopefully give this unit insight into how being self-sufficient and living off the land can enhance their capabilities, according to Engle, an Alexandria, Virginia, native. This kind of training is not available at Camp Lejeune, so it is important to walk away with as much information as possible.

    The Malaysian phase of CARAT 2014 will last approximately 17 days and consists of jungle survival training and bilateral amphibious landing scenarios.

    “This exercise grants us the chance to compare our protocol and procedures with the Marines,” said Malaysian Army Maj. Yacob Huzairein, the company commander for Parachute Reconnaissance Company, 10th Airborne Brigade, Malaysian Army. “This collaboration of experience and expertise allows us both to benefit. We enhance ourselves while helping the Marines increase their abilities in the jungle.”

    Working in the humid climate was vastly different from anything the participating Marines had done thus far, according to U.S. Marine Cpl. Jake Frascona, a forward observer with Weapons Company, 1st Bn., 8th Marines. The humidity, temperature and thickness of vegetation make operating truly difficult.

    The course spanned multiple days covering different survival topics to include building shelter and traps, to snares and tracking. Each topic had a subject matter expert who described the functions and demonstrated the proper process before the Marines put the knowledge to the test in a practical application session.

    “It was fun learning how vines can be turned into rope, how to track something and then use the rope we made from vines to set a snare,” said Frascona, an Aurora, Illinois, native. “These are perishable skills that I want to practice and improve when I get home. I can’t wait to see how the soldiers operate during the amphibious assault considering how proficient they are in this jungle.”

    The bilateral training covered during the survival course provided the Malaysian soldiers with a chance to familiarize themselves with the Marines and form lasting personal and professional relationships.

    “We look forward to CARAT every year,” said Huzairein. “We have been part of CARAT since the start, and training with the Marines gives us the opportunity to improve and prepare for possible future real operations.”



    Date Taken: 06.05.2014
    Date Posted: 07.15.2014 21:33
    Story ID: 136217
    Hometown: ALEXANDRIA, VA, US
    Hometown: AURORA, IL, US

    Web Views: 355
    Downloads: 0