MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- For five days, the Marines of 2nd Assault Amphibious Battalion, 2nd Marine Division got back to the basics of what they do best; amphibious operations.
Due to their heavy deployment rotation to Iraq, the battalion had not been able to train together as a whole unit until Dec. 8, when they headed out for a five-day training evolution. It was their first time together in a year.
“The main focus of the training was to refocus the battalion on all its “METALS” (Mission Essential Task Lists) which is a list of things the battalion is responsible for 2nd Marine Division and the Marine Corps,” explained Lt. Col. Michael L. Kuhn, the battalion’s commander. “It was time for us to get back out into the water and do amphibious operations in tough surf and heavy seas.”
The training focused on refreshing the Marines, who were mainly involved in desert training and operations, on amphibious assault operations, enhanced marksmanship, mechanized operations and battalion support operations.
Trackers, a common name used for amphibious assault crewman, were not the only ones in on the training.
Headquarters and support Marines like administration clerk Cpl. Quentin S. Boyer, 22, got an opportunity to train with the Marines they support, conduct patrols themselves and enhance their marksmanship skills.
“I’m not an amtracker, but after coming out here with them, I have a newfound respect for them,” explained the 2002 Moline High School graduate. “It was definitely motivating to get out there and get some good training.”
The training exercise ended with an offensive assault operation that led the Marines back to their battalion area.
“Overall, the Marines exceeded my expectations during this training,” Kuhn said. “It was good to focus on amphibious operations, because recently it has been the individual companies focusing on Iraq.”
Once the Marines returned to the battalion area, they were treated with a well-deserved warriors’ dinner.
“It was awesome to get some real food after five days of eating MREs (meals ready-to-eat),” Boyer explained.
“This meal was a good way of finishing a successful training operation and building camaraderie,” Kuhn said.
After filling up on stuffing and hot bread rolls, the Marines gathered together to clean rifles and discuss the training they had underwent.
The battalion commander explained the future of these battalion field exercises.
“This training was the first in a series of battalion field exercises that we will conduct over the next few years,” Kuhn explained.
2nd AAB will continue supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism, rotating companies in and out of Iraq, but will also keep training in amphibious operations. The next evolution is expected in March.