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Marines and sailors with Charlie Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, conducted a live-fire company exercise as a part of deployment preparation, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 9-11, 2013. Marines with the scout squad move down the tree line to prepare to assault the enemy position.

Photo by Pfc. Krista James

Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion evaluates squad leaders on live-fire exercise

12 Apr 2013 | Cpl. Phillip R. Clark 2nd Marine Division

Marines and sailors with Charlie Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, conducted a live-fire company exercise aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, April 9-11, 2013.

            As a part of their deployment readiness program, the training consisted of day and night fires requiring the Marines to assault in groups across the range and eliminate enemy targets.

            As one squad assaulted from close proximity, machine gunners suppressed upcoming enemy targets from a distance.

 “We are assessing the squad leader’s ability to maneuver in a fighting squad with supporting arms from [machine guns],” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Kelly, the platoon sergeant with 2nd platoon. “The scout squad moves down range through the tree line and once they have eyes on the target, they call in for support. Then the squad will maneuver out of the tree line with accurate suppression from the machine guns to assault through the objective.”

Training like this is very important.  Marines will practice and run multiple repetitions before they deploy.

            “Training like this is absolutely essential for all the Marines from senior to junior because it’s all about getting back to the basics,” said Kelly. “It helps build that muscle memory so when we deploy if we are ever in this scenario the Marines can react quickly and proficiently to complete the task.”

For a lot of the Marines this was a new exercise they had never done before since coming to the unit.

“We have a really young squad, and it’s nice to get them out here to train on something other than just bounding. Usually there is more stuff going on in your surroundings, so it also helps getting them used to that,” said Lance Cpl. Mitchell Dowd, a team leader with alpha section, 1st platoon. “It gives them a bigger view on how support-by-fire works and how using all the elements together like assaulting and accurate suppression help us complete the mission.”

After the Marines finished the scenario they regrouped to have a discussion to identify their strengths and deficiencies in their attack.

 “We have been working the past few weeks trying to get the kinks out since this is our first live-fire range as a squad,” said Dowd. “So far there haven’t been many mistakes that we can’t fix on the next run through. Everyone – including myself – can understand when we see something happen; how we can improve on it to make it more efficient.”