MARINE AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER, TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif --
Marines with Charlie Company, 1st Battlalion, 8th Marine Regiment executed the Battalion Assault Course, the final event for Integrated Training Exercise 1-16 aboard Marine Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, Nov. 5-7, 2015.
“The Battalion Assault Course is the culminating event for ITX 1-16,” said 1st Lt. Phillip Jones, executive officer for Charlie Company. “It’s a combination of the platoon and company range as well as the mechanized assault course and putting it all together in order to give the Marines one last evaluation.
The BAC incorporated all elements of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force to the Air Combat Element and the Logistics Combat Element. Together, they attempted to degrade the enemy’s ability to fight and place them in a combined-arms dilemma.
“Enabling the battlefield commanders to have [communications] with their troops at all times ensures mission success,” said Sgt. La’Belvin Daniels, the communications chief for Charlie Company. “We have been working alongside the amphibious assault vehicles and artillery units, integrating our capabilities allowing for effective communications throughout the assault.”
The BAC initiated with a combined-arms assault into an enemy held area transitioning to a defense-in-depth and concluding with a subsequent counterattack.
“It was the first time Charlie [Company] conducted a defense alongside both tanks and AAVs,” said Capt. Adam Young, commanding officer for Charlie Company. “Marines worked throughout the night setting up the defense and to wake up the next morning and see the entire battalion on line in the defense was amazing.”
During ITX 1-16, Marines throughout the battalion conducted several exercises beforehand to prepare for the BAC and enhance unit readiness.
“The biggest thing Marines have demonstrated here is tactical patience,” said Jones. “The BAC increases unit cohesion … everyone is being pushed to their limits.”
The battalion is preparing for an upcoming deployment with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa and the Black Sea Rotational Force early next year.
“This training helps our core mission essential tasks,” Young said. “The company did outstanding on all the training we conducted out here. Pushing forward, we’ll start preparing for security force type missions overseas.”
Next week the battalion and its command element, 8th Marine Regiment, will be conducting the certification exercise. CERTEX will help them gain familiarity in stability operations to include: embassy reinforcements, theater security cooperation and non-combatant evacuation operations.