Photo Information

Gunnery Sgt. Matthew P. Rea, 34, platoon sergeant with the light armored reconnaissance section, BLT 3/1, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, discusses plans for a training raid with his Marines here May 25. The raid is part of a Special Operations Training Group program to prepare the Marines for their upcoming 11th MEU deployment

Photo by Cpl. Elyssa Quesada

Teams provide fire, support

25 May 2011 | Cpl. Elyssa Quesada 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Combined anti-armor teams and a light-armored reconnaissance platoon took lessons from past combat operations as they brought vehicles and weapons to a five-day raid course here May 23-27.

The Weapons Company Marines from Battalion Landing Team 3/1, the ground combat element of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, attended the course taught by I Marine Expeditionary Force's Special Operations Training Group.

In one simulated raid, a team provided security for a landing zone and established a support-by-fire position as Marines in light-armored vehicles maneuvered to an objective and engaged targets.

LAR platoon sergeant Gunnery Sgt.  Matthew P. Rea said such training strengthens the team, and if called to conduct a raid in the real world, the warriors will act as one.

"It's for the Marines to know how each other will act and react under fire," said Rea, 34, who hails from Encinitas, Calif.

The light armored reconnaissance vehicles carry 25mm cannons, while the humvees with CAAT carry.50 caliber machine guns, grenade launchers and tube-launched optically-tracked wire-guided missiles making them capable of destroying an array of enemy targets.

"With CAAT, Weapons Company and LAR heavy guns and anti-armor weapons, it's a lethal combination," said Sgt. Curney Russell, 26, section leader with B section, LAR.

The units will continue to train to prepare for the MEU's upcoming Western Pacific deployment.

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.

Read Biography

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.

Read Biography

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.

Read Biography