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Photo Information

Lance Cpl. John Saunier, rifleman, Company F, Anti-Terrorism Battalion, attached to 2nd Marine Division, takes point during a patrol while undergoing a training exercise to recapture an embassy building aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Aug. 4, 2011. Because of the wide spectrum of demands that may be made of the battalion during its deployment, the Marines’ training covers a large variety of techniques and tactics ranging from Military Operations on Urban Terrain, extractions and convoys, to non-lethal methods, riot control and non-combatant evacuation operations.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua J. Hines

Anti-Terrorism Battalion; to detect, deter, and defend

10 Aug 2011 | Lance Cpl. Joshua J. Hines

A unique unit prepares to take its place in the continued war on terror as they train aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. That unit is Company F of the Anti-Terrorism Battalion, a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force made up of Marine reservists from states across the U.S.

AT Battalion’s primary mission is to rapidly deploy specially trained and sustainable forces to detect, deter and defend against terrorism while partnering with allied nations, as well as to respond to crises in the event of a terrorist attack.

“We will be deploying somewhere in the Middle East to work alongside our allied nations to teach them how to prepare for combat and best employ their weapons systems by training them in basic infantry skills and tactics,” said Maj. James Burchfield, commanding officer, Co. F, AT Bn., attached to 2nd Marine Division.

Along with the basic infantry skills and tactics being taught during the deployment, Co. F will work alongside allied nations to help prepare each nation for combating insurgent forces and terrorism.

“This deployment is important because it shows our nation’s commitment to their nation and helps prepare their military for combat operations as well as fosters good faith and good will between the two nations,” said 1st Sgt. Billy Kruthers, company first sergeant, Co. F, AT Bn.

While preparing for its upcoming deployment, there are still many uncertainties about what will be required for Co. F to accomplish its mission to combat terrorism. Because of the wide spectrum of demands that may be made of the company, the Marines’ training must cover a large variety of techniques and tactics.

“Not knowing the full extent of what our mission will be, we are training in a wide array of tactics and skills to ensure we’re prepared for whatever is asked of us,” said Kruthers.

The tactics and skills being taught to the Marines of Co. F, range from advanced urban combat tactics to close quarter’s battle techniques and even how to capture or recapture an embassy building. The Marines are also learning a variety of non-lethal skills should the need arise – riot control and basic security guard procedures along with measures for non-combatant evacuation operations.

“So far the Marines have done great,” said Burchfield. “The progress they’ve shown here has been spectacular. Some of the instructors from the Marine Training Team with Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Company have stated that our Marines have picked up on the tactics and techniques faster than the Marines they’re used to training.”

 [Editor’s Note]

Company F, Anti Terrorism Battalion, 4th Marine Division is a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force designed to rapidly organize, train, and deploy specially trained and sustainable task forces to detect, deter, and defend against terrorism, as well as to conduct crisis response in the event of a terrorist attack. Co. F is attached to 2nd Marine Division while being supported by Marine forces based in Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Co. F, AT Battalion is comprised of Marine reservists from Marine Corps bases across the U.S. in states that include Hawaii, Louisiana, Alabama, Tallahassee, Florida, Mississippi, New York., Massachusetts, and many more.