Photo Information

Marines with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, fire a shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon during a field exercise, Oct. 23, on a platoon assault range here. The battalion was here for about a month conducting pre-deployment training. The five companies in the battalion took aim on five different ranges throughout the training which consisted of a platoon assault course, vehicle mounted heavy machine gun courses, mortar ranges, combat marksmanship program courses, and a known distance course. ::r::::n::

Photo by Cpl. Thomas J. Hermesman

Mountain Warfare Training prepares Marines for upcoming deployment

21 Nov 2008 | Cpl. Thomas J. Hermesman

Camp Lejeune may be a large base, but when many local units train at the same time, the space and facilities available tend to run low.  In cases like this, when the training must go on, some hit the road in search of an area to train.

The warfighters in 2d Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division were recently on the move.  The battalion traveled to Fort A. P. Hill, Va., a U. S. Army post, to conduct some of their pre-deployment training.

While in Virginia, the five companies in the battalion participated in five different types of live fire range training.  One range was primarily focused on the training of Marines in tactical infantry squad movement on an enemy position. 

“This training has not been used like it was before the war in Iraq, where infantry units are normally forced to operate in an urban environment, this type of training is getting us back in touch with our expeditionary roots,” said Lt. Col. Christian Cabaniss, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines commanding officer.

On Oct. 23, Company G Marines practiced their trade on the platoon assault course.  As usual, the company was broken down into platoons, squads and fire teams.

“This training is a great way for our boys to get the skills they will need when we go into country,” said Sgt. Jonathon Moulder, an infantry squad leader. “We as a platoon, and I am sure as a company, have shown progress from the beginning of this training cycle to now.”

Each part of the company had its own role in the platoon assault course, whether it was assaulting and taking the objective, suppressing the enemy by fire or evacuating casualties, every piece of the attack was planned from start to finish.

“I really think we are coming together as a group, not only are we training together, we are living together, sharing stories and missing our kids together, and getting to know each other as Marines and as people,” said Cpl. Matthew Miller, an infantry squad leader.  “Our upcoming deployment, I think, will go very well as long as we are doing as well as we are now.  This training is going to definitely help us when we get to the Middle East.”

In addition to the platoon assault course, the training included a known distance course, a combat marksmanship program (tables three and four) course, a vehicle-mounted heavy machine gun course, and mortar ranges.

“This is what we as infantrymen are all about,” said Moulder.  “This is our job.”