MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Nothing prepares Marines for deployment like being in the field. Sleeping under the stars, eating MREs and always carrying a rifle gives Marines a realistic expectation of life overseas. Going to the field may not be the most enjoyable experience, but it teaches Marines how to survive in difficult conditions.
First Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division conducted a battalion level field exercise Sept. 28 – Oct. 9, 2013. This was the first battalion level exercise for 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines since they deployed with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in December 2012.
“The focus of the exercise was to train and evaluate our small unit leaders on the core mission essential tasks of offense, defense, and military operations in urban terrain,” said 1st Lt. Matthew Anater, the adjutant for 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines. “We also looked to execute command and control at the battalion level, and in doing so, develop a battle rhythm that will replicate what we believe the battalion will utilize by the battalion during deployment.”
MOUT provides a plethora of basically constructed buildings and small villages for training purposes. Marines get a sense of uncertainty patrolling around the unfamiliar towns, which keeps them on their toes.
The Marines participated in various exercises, including live-fire exercises and different patrols.
“We did a lot of security patrols around the different (simulated buildings),” said Lance Cpl. William Long, an infantryman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines. “It helps us prepare for real situations when we deploy.”
By the end of the field exercise, the battalion was more confident in their quick decision making by the small unit leadership to make the correct calls under pressure.
“The cold weather and rain allowed us to evaluate the physical and mental toughness of our Marines,” Anater said. “If it ain’t raining, we ain’t training.”