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MARCH AIR FORCE RESERVE BASE, Calif. - (From right to left) Sgt. all Australian Army soldiers taught Marines with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment during Stability and Security Operations training here July 20-29. The instructors taught many different classes alongside Marine instructors that prepare the Marines for whatever they might encounter in the upcoming deployment to Iraq.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Benjamin J. Flores

Allies from "Down Under" teach Marines

3 Aug 2005 | Cpl. Adam C. Schnell 2nd Marine Division

With the ever changing mission in Iraq, the Marine Corps has called on our allies from “Down Under” to help add a different aspect to pre-deployment training.Ten Soldiers with the Australian Army are currently working alongside Marine instructors providing pre-deployment training to the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment and thousands of other troops in the Marine Corps.“We’re just really glad to get the opportunity to come here and help put an Australian twist on the Marine Corps training,” said Australian Army Capt. Roy Henry, an instructor with the Australian Instructor Support Team. The AIST first came to the Urban Warfare Training Center here in early 2004 with just five soldiers. With the need for more instructors during the 10-day training evolution, the team has since doubled.Each Australian soldier serves as an instructor in the UWTC for a total of two months teaching convoy operations, urban assaults, identifying improvised explosive device and other classes with an Australian flavor.“In our Army, we spend a lot of time dealing with humanitarian aid and peacekeeping missions like East Timor and the Solomon Islands,” said Murray, a Townsville, Queensland native. “So we try to bring that experience to the table when teaching Marines on urban patrolling and personnel searches.”This experience caught the eye of the Marine Corps Training and Education Command who then wanted the soldiers to train Marines who would be deploying to Iraq. When the Marines are given different scenarios during the training, the soldiers are alongside them providing guidance and experience to help minimize the number of Marine and Iraqi citizen injuries during the upcoming deployment.“They do a really good job showing the Marines a different aspect to the training than what we show them,” said Cpl. Dave A. Walker, an UWTC instructor and Toronto native. “We see things a certain way, and they see things a certain way, so when we train together we can get a grasp on the whole picture.”Even though they bring a different aspect to the training than Marines, the Australian Army is much like that of the Marine Corps with rank structure and organization of forces.“We pretty much already use the Marine Corps doctrine as our doctrine, only we just put in our own Australian ways and made it fit our military,” said Murray.For some Marines who have been through the most hostile fighting in Iraq since the start of OIF, the training being taught now is different than the standard operating procedures in Iraq months earlier. For most, it was a different battle when they were there and the Marine Corps has different missions now.“This training is quite a bit different than what I was doing or was taught by my NCO’s (non-commissioned officers) in Iraq,” said Lance Cpl. Christopher C. Villaceran, a Los Angeles native and rifleman with security platoon, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. “Even though it is really different, it is also a different place, different time and different war than when I was in Iraq before.”