CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Speed, intensity and a whole lot of firepower is what you can expect when Marines set their sights on an objective. Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s ground combat element made their presence known when conducting raid training on urban terrain here Feb. 5.
Machinegunners provided suppressive fire as part of the first phase of the raid, which is to make entry into the terrain. The assault force swiftly gained access to the town with basic fire and maneuver tactics, neutralizing any opposition as they went. Once close enough, a designated squad sprinted into the nearest set of houses and secured them as quickly as possible. A separate assault force gained entry from the rear.
“We do these kinds of training events so that these guys can conduct a raid on a known objective,” said Gunnery Sgt. Bill Denney, the range safety officer at the training event. We make these events as realistic as possible because when stuff hits the fan things change and although the objective stays the same, the means to achieve your goal might change based on irregularities and ultimately that’s what we train them for.
Gunshots and dialog that could hardly be understood were all that could be heard from the small town. The assault force went through the town quickly without any friendly casualties. For what was seemingly a simple raid, the adverse circumstances behind-the-scenes made it anything but simple. Along with the main objective, Marines were required to detain and/or eliminate any hostile threats with the appropriate methods.
“When we operate in foreign countries, not everyone is going to be a threat,” said 1st Lt. Cori Moyer, a platoon commander with the 11th MEU’s ground combat element. “We have to be able to determine, in a short period of time whether or not a guy is a threat or not because some countries don’t have an organized military force so it gets tricky.”
Moyer and Denney agreed that complacency is not an option.
"They did well today as a whole,” said Denney. “That being said there’s always room for improvement. Like we always say, train as we fight.
This raid was the first of three different raids. Each raid conducted will have a different objective, a different setting and an increased difficulty level. Training evolutions will require Marines to tap into a different skill set.
I Marine Expeditionary Force Special Operations Training Group provided the raid training used in this evolution in preparation for the 11th MEU’s scheduled deployment. It is essential that Marines with the MEU maintain and continue to build upon their mission readiness.