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Photo Information

Corporal Tanner Pollock, a squad leader with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, and Fort Wayne, Ind. native, holds security while Lance Cpl. Ryan Zerites, a combat engineer with 2nd CEB, and Greensboro, N.C. native, calls in a 9-line medical evacuation request during Military Operations in Urban Terrain, or MOUT, training aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 8, 2015. The training included Marines going out in squad sized elements to attack an objective being held by Marines in the defensive position after the squad leaders built terrain models and informed their Marines on avenues of approach and objectives. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Krista James/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Krista E. James

2nd CEB Marines maintain readiness through MOUT training

10 Apr 2015 | Cpl. Krista E. James 2nd Marine Division

Marines with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division conducted Military Operations on Urban Terrain, or MOUT, training aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 6-10, 2015.

 

The training included Marines going out in squad sized elements to attack an objective being held by Marines in a defensive position after the squad leaders built terrain models and informed their Marines on avenues of approach and tasks.

 

“The main purpose of this training is to essentially sharpen our skills as squads, and to utilize the other portion of our [military occupational specialty] which is provisional infantry,” said Staff Sgt. Travis Payne, a platoon sergeant with 2nd CEB. “Being able to employ our engineers and to use our Marines in those tactics makes them much more of an asset to 2nd Marine Division.”

 

Corporal James Davidson, a squad leader with the unit, said that the training is important for both the offensive and defensive elements.

 

“You get practice setting up the defense and at the same time you get to see how your fellow squad leaders decide to attack. It helps you set up a more effective defense and helps you think outside the box instead of just seeing the small picture of what you’re doing,” Davidson said.

 

Davidson also said that the training is focused more at the small unit level and a lot of the decisions are left to the squad leaders to take charge of their given scenarios.

 

“We’re pushing our squads out to build that small unit leadership, relying on our squad leaders to be able to utilize their squads in offensive and defensive, engineer and reconnaissance missions. It not only gives that [non-commissioned officer] the opportunity to lead his squad but also gives the junior Marines [the opportunity] to get extensive training beyond demolition training,” Payne said.

 

Both Davidson and Payne agree that conducting MOUT training helps maintain readiness within their unit for future missions.

 

“Doing this [training] will help [us] stay warmed up on combat tactics and how you can employ your defensive ability for another unit when you get attached to them,” said Davidson. “It keeps us in the mind set of being combat engineers instead of becoming complacent.”

           

“In many instances Marines have been pinned down and have to have a stronghold whether it be one building or a compound. They have to utilize their management skills for food, water and ammunition. It gives the squad leader a very good [idea] that this really relies on him and his management skills to keep his Marines alive in the fight,” Payne said.

 

Payne also said that coming out into a field environment not only helps his Marines maintain a combat-ready mindset, but helps promote strong unit cohesion amongst his Marines as well.

 

“To have Marines out in the field [at all] builds that cohesion, and to bring them out in this environment where they have to rely on one another for survival in these [notional] scenarios, at the end of the day, it’s invaluable,” said Payne. “To see their camaraderie and morale…I wouldn’t ask for anything more as a platoon sergeant.”