SAN DIEGO --
Marines and sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit's maritime raid force conducted visit, board, search and seizure training, also known as VBSS, and close-quarters tactics training at the Strategic Operations Facility here Aug. 6 as part of a two-week training cycle.
The raid force is made up of a reconnaissance element, an infantry element, intelligence teams, explosive ordinance disposal Marines, and a detachment from 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company.
"We train to enhance our capabilities for operations like VBSS as well as qualifying our Marines in low light to no light situations," said Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Compton.
Compton, a 31-year-old Cleburne, Texas, native, serves as the raid force's first sergeant.
Each member of the raid force participated in fast roping, a technique used to descend from an aircraft on to a target site without landing the aircraft. They also conducted precision land raid training, which is used to secure a landing zone, said Compton, while transitioning from wearing no gear to operating in full body armor and carrying small arms weapons during simulated hostile scenarios.
Lance Cpl. Corey Ericson, 22, who was with the raid force during the unit's recent Western Pacific deployment, says training has become second nature.
"It's hard, but it's fun," said Ericson, a radio operator with the MEU's command element and San Clemente, Calif., native. "Honestly, I've done this so many times that it's a part of me now."