UDAIRI RANGE, Kuwait -- Marines from C Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), conducted a 3-day convoy course April 21-23 here as part of their desert sustainment training.
Comprised of classes and live-fire convoy drills, the Tactical Movement Training course is designed to enhance Charlie Company’s capabilities in fighting the Global War on Terrorism.
“This is the most relevant and practical training we have received so far,” said Capt. Jeffrey Dyal, C Company, company commander. “Currently in Iraq, this is what’s going on. This is an integral part of real world operations - convoy operations.”
The course is the most current and up-to-date training that teaches the Marines on how to deal with enemy improvised explosive devices, said Dyal.
Each platoon had their own convoy of humvees and 7-ton trucks and simulated doing logistical runs carrying food, water and fuel. Each encountered several and different scenarios.
“We primarily focused on reactions to the IEDs,” said Sgt. Roberto Ramirez, squad leader, 1st squad, 1st platoon, C Company. “The drills we did were all different. We dealt with IEDs, small-arms firing, crowd control and how to maneuver the vehicles through them. These things are all important.”
The course was also designed to deal with all types of attacks including ambushes, airborne IEDs, and snipers.
“This was an excellent training opportunity, which focused on making tactical logistical convoy runs to better prepare the Marines to execute convoy missions successfully,” said Gunnery Sgt. Dwight J. Fitzgerald, company gunnery sergeant, C Company.
C Company placed heavy emphasis on the rehearsals and spent several hours practicing prior to doing the actual scenarios.
This was to better hone their battle skills, said Fitzgerald.
This is only the second time that the infantry company has gotten a chance to get off the USS Peleliu and conduct exercises in a real-world environment, the first was in Townsville, Australia.
“It’s the best training we’ve gotten so far out of this deployment,” said Lance Cpl. Ramon R. Gutierrez, rifleman and grenadier, 2nd squad, 1st platoon, C Company. “It’s what we need to better prepare us in case we get called to go to Iraq.”
The company rarely deals with convoy exercises because the Marines are from a helicopter assault company, said Ramirez.
“This training lays down the foundation for what our new Marines can expect and also develops our skills,” said Ramirez.
Considering that C Company is a helo assault company, they did exceptionally well, said Dyal.
“This just makes us a jack of all trades,” he said.