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    'Stress Training': 3/3 Lima Company Marines prepare for enemy by solidifying clearing skills

    'Stress Training': 3/3 Lima Company Marines prepare for enemy by solidifying clearing skills

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Reece Lodder | Lance Cpl. Jarrett Hatley, a working dog handler with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder  

    Marine Corps Base Hawaii

    MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Crammed on narrow benches within a 26-ton steel beast, a squad of Marines jostled around as their tracked vehicle powered through the desert toward its objective.

    The deafening roar of the vehicle’s mighty engines quieted as the infantrymen arrived at their destination. The back gate creaked open and they rushed out with readied weapons. Teams of two Marines bounded into the city, flanked by two M1A1 Abrams tanks.

    The Marines of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, performed clearing operations during Exercise Clear, Hold, Build 1 on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Aug. 4, 2011.

    The platoon-level clearing operation, the first of CHB-1’s three events, was part of the 35-day Enhanced Mojave Viper training exercise.

    During ‘clear,’ the Marines from Lima Company integrated with tanks and amphibious assault vehicles to take control of an urban environment under enemy fire.

    Pfc. Brad Pickett, a rifleman with Lima Company, said the tanks and AAVs added a new force to their infantry assault.

    “They’re a rolling roadblock,” the 23-year-old Pickett, from Jacksonville, Fla., said. “They allowed us to focus our firepower forward and push harder than with just infantrymen.”

    The platoons forcefully swept through two city blocks, storming through buildings and hails of simulated enemy gunfire under the observation of “Coyotes,” instructors who graded the Marines’ performance.

    2nd Lt. Alex Puente, a platoon commander with Lima Company, said the clearing helped each of the Marines develop the aggressiveness they’ll need to fight the enemy. He said it forced team and squad leaders to learn how to best employ their Marines in a similar situation.

    “We’re giving them the tools they need and pointing them in the right direction,” Puente, 25, from New Orleans, said. “Now it’s on them to accept this responsibility and train their Marines for combat.”

    Before beginning CHB-1, the Marines occupied several forward operating bases in the desert training area. They relinquished the luxuries of comfortable beds, electricity and running water to live and fight in the dirt.

    Each of the battalion’s companies — Headquarters and Service, India, Kilo, Lima and Weapons — rotated through the three-day training evolution.

    Moving from ‘clear’ into the ‘hold’ portion of CHB-1, they performed cordon and search operations, processed detainees and conducted tactical site evaluations.

    In the exercise’s final ‘build’ portion, they practiced counter-improvised explosive device procedures. The battalion’s new working dog handlers integrated their IED detection dogs into training for the first time since returning from training in South Carolina.

    During EMV, the Marines of ‘America’s Battalion’ are training to kill enemy fighters by solidifying infantry skills and practicing counterinsurgency operations. They’re preparing for an upcoming fall deployment to Afghanistan’s southernmost Helmand province, where they’ll support Operation Enduring Freedom.

    Lance Cpl. Timothy A. Henderson, a squad leader with Lima Company, said EMV’s training is helping the Marines build a baseline of consistency — improving how they work both together and with their equipment.

    “Each of these training events is conditioning us to respond under pressure,” Pickett said. “This is stress training.”



    Date Taken: 09.07.2011
    Date Posted: 09.07.2011 17:26
    Story ID: 76605

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