Photo Information

A mortarman with Battalion Landing Team 3/1 conducts weapons reloading drills here Dec. 17 during basic combat marksmanship training. The Camp Pendleton, Calif., based unit deployed from San Diego Nov. 14 aboard USS Makin Island, USS New Orleans and USS Pearl Harbor and arrived in Singapore Dec. 12 as part of a regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East regions.

Photo by Sgt. Elyssa Quesada

Unit trains in close-quarter battle

20 Dec 2011 | Sgt. Elyssa Quesada 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Forty Marines and sailors with Combat Logistic Battalion 11 and Battalion Landing Team 3/1 conducted close-quarters battle training at the Murai Urban Training Facility here Dec. 17-18, part of a 10-day training series.

Members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit's logistics- and ground-combat elements attended marksmanship classes, conducted weapons drills and secured buildings.

Vehicle commander Sgt. Phillip Blackwell, who taught several classes, said, "Being proficient in these skills -- in case we do find ourselves in a combat zone -- is important."

Clad in body-armor and carrying small-arms weapons, the Marines and sailors divided into two- and four-man teams, secured rooms, and encountered simulated local aggressors.

"I learned how to clear rooms, how to recognize a weapon's malfunction and how to solve it," said Lance Cpl. Jeffery Hankins, a military policeman with the logistics-combat element. "Although I knew some of the information, it was good to get a refresher to help build muscle memory."

Blackwell, who serves with the ground-combat element's Weapons Company, said that in addition to building weapons proficiency and teaching tactics, the classes reminded the Marines that they are riflemen first.

The Camp Pendleton, Calif., unit deployed from San Diego Nov. 14 and arrived in Southeastern Asia Dec. 11 as part of a regularly scheduled 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 DeBarrĀ 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