11th MEU Marines go gunnin’ in Guam

28 Nov 2007 | Cpl. Scott M. Biscuiti 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

 Marines with Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment and Combat Logistics Battalion 11, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (SOC), spent Nov. 25-26 sharpening their infantry skills on the tropical island of Guam.

 The USS Germantown pulled into U.S. Naval Base Guam with Marines and sailors crowded around the flight deck to get their first glimpse of land since departing San Diego on Nov. 5. Once in port, the Marines wasted no time and quickly made their way to their first training site at Anderson Air Force Base.

 The focus of the two-day training was on marksmanship sustainment, enhanced marksmanship program skills, urban patrols and military operations in urban terrain, said Capt. Daniel Thomas, commanding officer, Company B, BLT 1/5.

 The Marines spent most of their time firing weapons at two live-fire ranges both during the day and night. On the second day, the Marines went to an empty housing area that allowed them to occupy the area, conduct urban patrols and cordon and searches and use simulated ammunition, similar to paintballs.

 “It was an outstanding occasion to give the Marines an opportunity to use all their equipment in a dynamic fashion using ladders and breaching kits,” said Thomas, an Oakdale, La. native. “It allowed the squad leaders to exercise command and control.”

 Sgt. Joshua Debiak, 1st squad leader, 3rd platoon, Company B, said the new environment was a nice change in training.

 “Recently, we have been focused on operating in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said the Pittsburgh, Pa. native. “The tropical environment gives us a different perspective and setup than what we are used to.”

 After the Marines ran through numerous scenarios in the makeshift city during the day and night, it was time to pack up, get on the ship and head to their next destination.

 “Overall, it was a good chance for the Marines to steady their legs after almost a month on ship, see a new country and build confidence in themselves and their weapons systems,” said Thomas. “We are a force in readiness around the world and there is always a need to operate in every clime and place because our mission is global.”

Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
Commanding Officer

Colonel Tom Siverts is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989. He achieved a commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program following his graduation from the University of Virginia in May 1999. Colonel Siverts has deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. His other operational deployments include serving with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); BLT 3/8, 22d MEU; BLT 2/8, 26th MEU, and Task Force 61/2.

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Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
Executive Officer

LtCol Sprigg was born in Parkersburg, WV. LtCol Sprigg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 2004 and recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. LtCol Sprigg was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 2008. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W pilot. LtCol Sprigg is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Pendleton, California.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major DeBarr enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.Staff Sergeant DeBarr completed two combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 to April 2006 and again form March 2007 to September 2007. While serving with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, First Sergeant DeBarr completed one combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from October 2012 to May 2013. Sergeant Major DeBarr currently serves as the Sergeant Major for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit