Fox Company BLT 2/1 trains for theater cooperation

21 Mar 2014 | Cpl. Demetrius Morgan 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines with Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines (BLT 2/1), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted a Special Operation Training Group exercise as part of Realistic Urban Training Marine Expeditionary Unit (RUTMEUEX) 14-1 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., March 18, to hone their skills and tactics while training with role players, who injected realism into the exercise.  SOTG instructors tasked Marines with 2/1 to provide instruction on Marine Corps basic tactics to individuals with no prior infantry training. Some of these tactics included were: clearing rooms, pivot drills with their designated marksmanship weapon and using nonverbal signals to move from point to point.
One of the obstacles Marines may face in foreign countries is working through the language barrier. To effectively simulate a foreign environment, the role players were not allowed to speak any English. This forces Marines to communicate and respond to body language and hand gestures in order to gather information about the battlefield they are in, which is crucial to mission success.
A small ceremony was conducted following the training to congratulate each member individually and thank them for participating in the exercise. After the training was done, Marines shared a meal with the foreign role players to build rapport.  
“The ceremony is basically a way of saying thanks,” said 1st Lt. Jacob Lunsford, a platoon commander with 2/1. “We do it so that we show them hospitality. It’s just another way we can help build a relationship with them and show them how much we appreciate what they do for us.” 
This training is just one of many evolutions that the MEU is conducting during RUTMEUEX to prepare for their scheduled deployment later this summer.

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 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.

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