Photo Information

Cpl. William McManigle, a platoon sergeant with Company A, 1st battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, practices platoon attacks during an exercise here Nov. 19. After recently spending time in Fort Pickett, Va., doing the same training, the Marines trained hard to keep this important combat training fresh in their heads. (Official Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Thomas J. Hermesman) (URELEASED)

Photo by Cpl. Thomas J. Hermesman

1/8 trains to stay ready, on top

20 Nov 2008 | Cpl. Thomas J. Hermesman

As America’s 911 Force, Marines are expected to be trained and ready at all times, but without constant training and exercises, all knowledge and skills could be lost in no time.

Marines with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, spent a few days on the ranges here reviewing and practicing platoon attacks and squad movements in preparation for an upcoming deployment.

On Nov. 19, the men of Company A, 1st Bn., 8th Marines were on the platoon assault range doing live fire bunker-busting, reviewing training they conducted recently in Fort Pickett, Va.

Lance Cpl. Sean Haggard, a team leader with 1st Bn., 8th Marines said it’s always good for them to keep up on their training so nothing it’s forgotten.

“This is just a refresher course for us, it is just to provide upkeep on our skills,” he said.  “These are the basic skills that always need practice.”

The battalion has been training for a more expeditionary style of warfare, going back to the root knowledge used before OIF.  Although they’re scheduled to deploy to Iraq, their training includes scenarios they may face if deployed to Afghanistan.

2nd Lt. Timothy Kudo, 3rd platoon commander, Company A, 1st Bn., 8th Marines, said the training will be useful in either theater the unit ends up deploying to.

“This training is more conventional and although it is more geared toward a deployment to a combat environment like Afghanistan, I can see it taking it’s role in situations such as moving from mountain areas directly into villages,” said Kudo. “Although it’s not all urban it will still be useful in Iraq.”

Integrating the training of more conventional tactics and urban warfare helps the Marines be prepared for both possible theaters.

Lance Cpl. Kyle Temple, a squad leader with 1st Bn. 8th Marines, said the training keeps his Marines fresh and ready for whatever comes their way.

“This training is very important and it is perishable so we have to keep up on it and be prepared for entering either theater,” he said.

Like the other infantry battalions here, 1st Bn., 8th Marines will train all the way up to the day when they board the buses and head off to wherever the Corps sends them.  Their current training schedule will have them ready, willing and able to support ongoing operations in the Middle East.