CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -
The exercise was part of the Composite Training Unit Exercise, a pre-deployment exercise for carrier strike groups, before departing for a six-month deployment. The exercise will evaluate the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group’s ability to conduct integrated military operations at sea in realistic training environments to further refine their skills.
As part of the training evolution, role-players from 7th ESB deployed simulated improvised explosive devices and concertina wire around and inside buildings at Bravo-3 combat town to provide infantrymen attached to the 13th MEU an immersive and realistic experience.
“We are guarding this whole town and we’re supposed to defend our area,” said Cpl. Kyle E. Tassinari, a squad leader with Bulk Fuel Company, 7th ESB. “We’ve got simulated traps like heavy explosives and trip wires.”
The role-players waited well into the evening to commence their ambush and eventually fired upon amphibious assault vehicles approaching the area. The 13th MEU infantry dismounted and the night raid commenced.
The Marines of 7th ESB believe the training is not only beneficial for the 13th MEU, but for themselves as well.
“We role-play the opposition’s side so it helps us know (what it’s like to be) our enemy,” said Tassinari, a native of Palmer, Mass.
For some Marines with less deployment experience, the exercise was a nice change of pace.
“(I’ve never really seen) anything like this since I’ve never deployed,” said Lance Cpl. Kelly A. Usher, a bulk fuel specialist with 7th ESB. “It was very different and very educational. In case anything happens on patrol, this exercise gives us experience.”