MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, conducted a training exercise at the Mobile Military Operations in Urban Terrain facility here Nov. 13-15.
The battalion conducted training to prepare for their upcoming deployment to Iraq.
The intense training required Marines to respond to a variety of situations such as sniper fire, improvised explosive devices and casualty evacuation while they patrolled the town’s dusty streets. To make the training as realistic as possible, a crafty team of experienced non-commissioned officers served as role players.
“My sole purpose, along with the other guys who are out here, is to teach these new Marines what we encountered over there,” said Sgt. Chaz E. Wheeler, training NCO, Company K, 3rd Bn, 6th Marines.
Wheeler and the other role-players applied their combat experiences from Iraq to the training scenarios.
“Everything we are using out here is a tactic we have seen insurgents use firsthand,” Wheeler said.
Each scenario was designed to achieve a reaction from the Marines. The “insurgents” knew what the reaction of the squad should be after an IED for example, because they all served as squad leaders.
“We thought about how we would react as a squad in Iraq and just did the opposite,” said Cpl. David A. Rankin, training NCO, Co. K.
The role players designed only challenging scenarios. They know the value of training and strived to do the best they could.
“I have seen that the training actually means something, and if you gaff the training off, you’re just going to do the same overseas,” said Rankin.
They didn’t always play the role of a dangerous insurgent. Sometimes they helped the Marines by passing intelligence to them.
“I’d walk around and break character saying to them, ‘Hey I am out of play, this is what you need to do, and this is why,’” Rankin said. “I’d hate to see Marines that I’ve trained lose their lives because they weren’t taking the training seriously.”