FORT A.P. HILL, Va. -- Marines with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division conducted live-fire drills at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, Sept. 11.
Their training range, which was specially built to meet the unit’s needs, allowed the battalion to flex its muscle away from its base of support at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
“Doing mini-deployments away from [Camp Lejeune] allows the Marines to operate in a way that they can’t do aboard their home station,” said Lt. Col. Timothy R. Powledge, the battalion’s commanding officer. “A.P. Hill offers an opportunity to exercise the full capabilities of the battalion.”
While at A.P. Hill, the Marines operated on a live-fire range and completed urban combat training at a Military Operations on Urban Terrain town. The town closely simulated modern urban environments, where the chaos of combat melds with the challenges of operating in a house-to-house, street-to-street battlefield.
“The key to utilizing [this] range was to take all the squad battle drills we have developed and bring them together so we could teach the Marines how to support and function with one another,” said Powledge.
Their training area at Fort A.P. Hill, known as Range P28, also allowed the Marines to expand their use of live-fire exercises.
“One of the big training opportunities we are presented with on P28 are the amount of high explosives we can train with,” said Sgt. Jesus Garcia, the infantry training non-commissioned officer with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines.
The range obstacles even included two realistic bunkers. The Marines were able to work as a team in a coordinated assault on the bunkers, which they overtook during one of their simulated attacks.
“The overall training on the range was excellent,” said Powledge. “We also had great support from Explosive Ordinance Disposal, which allowed the range to go as smoothly as it did, and I know the Marines got a lot from their training out here.”
The unit’s successful completion of training at Fort A.P. Hill is just one of several stepping stones as the battalion prepares for its Integrated Training Exercise later this year. At each step along the way, the battalion will continue to hone its ability to function as a team and leverage all the assets available in the Marine Corps’ arsenal.