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Photo Information

Corporal Aaron J. Michaels, a squad leader with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment and Fayetteville, Ga., native, patrols through a forested area May 24, watching for any signs of enemy contact during a training exercise. The Marines from Company E practiced offensive and defensive patrolling techniques aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, May 22-24. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Phillip R. Clark)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Phillip R. Clark

Marines sharpen infantry tactics in field exercise

25 May 2012 | Lance Cpl. Phillip R. Clark

Marines from Company E, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, practiced offensive and defensive patrolling techniques aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, May 22-24.

The purpose of the training was to refresh the Company E Marines in basic infantry tactics and to let those who recently returned from Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, which is additional training that Marines can take for advanced skills, leadership and qualifications, put to use the skills they were taught.

“We just recently got back from the (22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit), and the training is making sure we are still combat ready,” 1st Lt. Caleb Khan, the commanding officer of Company E., said. “We also have Marines that just got back from AITB and we want them to take those leadership skills and training they learned there and apply them here.”

Some of the Marines are filling billets usually reserved to staff noncommissioned officers and officers and the exercise proved to be a great way for them to train for their new positions.

“It was a little difficult at first to go from being the one doing the orders to being the person giving them,” said Cpl. Seth J. DeSplinter who is currently acting as the commanding officer of Weapons platoon, Company E. “All my section leaders have been a great help though with asking if there is anything I need done so that I can better lead my Marines.”

The three-day training consisted of reconnaissance patrols, ambush patrols and combat patrols where opposing elements engaged each other with blank rounds to simulate real-life engagements. The platoons were also sent to different simulated patrol bases that they were responsible for defending and patrolling out of to scout for the other platoons to set up ambushes.

“There is no better training than going to the field and practicing patrols with your unit,” DeSplinter, also a Kewanee, Ill., native, said. “We all have been with each for a while so we know what each other thinks so it involves thinking outside the box to counter what you think they have planned.”

The Marines enjoyed the opportunity to sharpen their skills during the exercise and look forward to the next time they get to go to the field. “This is the first time we have done training like this since we returned from the MEU, and I hope we can do more training like this,” DeSplinter said. “It’s a big help -- no matter what job you have or what your orders are, it makes us more proficient.”