MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Waves crashed against the hull while the engine roared with life propelling it toward its destination. Uncompromising and unyielding to the demands of the sea, the amphibious assault vehicle pushed forward in its mission to seize the beach.
This was the scene as Marines with 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marines Division, conducted amphibious assault training at Onslow Beach, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 12.
The training involved several forms of amphibious assault tactics ranging from beach assault to withdrawing back to ship.
“We began with a withdraw by driving the vehicles from the beach to the ship,” said 2nd Lt. Daniel Wallenstein, student amphibious assault officer, 2nd platoon, Company B, 2nd AA Bn. “Then we did a demonstration in which the AAV’s splashed off ship, got on line and moved forward a ways, circled the ship and then returned to the ship. Following the demonstration we conducted an assault of the beach.”
Throughout the training, the unit was supported by the USS Ponce, an Austin-class amphibious transport dock named for Ponce, Puerto Rico, a city in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
“It’s not too often that we get the chance to do our water ops with a ship,” said 1st Lt. Peter Bose, platoon commander, 2nd platoon, Company B, 2nd AA Bn. “Any time we get to use a ship in our training it’s extremely beneficial to us and an opportunity we don’t want to waste.”
Over the course of the training the Marines had to perform continuous upkeep and operation checks on the amphibious assault vehicles, both aboard the USS Ponce and the beach.
“With the vehicles in the water, this training's been going pretty well,” said Bose. “Honestly, for a lot of the Marines, this has been their first time doing water ops with a ship, which is why it’s so great having the USS Ponce here.”
Despite vehicles dealing with mechanical issues, the training continued as scheduled, allowing the Marines a full day of water operations working with the USS Ponce.
“This has been great training for the Marines,” said Wallenstein. “They’re getting a lot of good experience driving in the water and splashing on and off ship.