FORT PICKETT, Va. --
On May 18, 2021 U.S. Marines with 2d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (2d LAR), 2d Marine Division (2d MARDIV), loaded onto light armored vehicles (LAV-25) and convoyed six hours to Fort Pickett, Va.
The Marines trained in exhausting circumstances for eight days during a Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation (MCCRE). The MCCRE is an exercise designed to formally evaluate a unit's combat readiness and if successful, the unit will achieve an apex status and is deemed ready for global employment.
The purpose is to “test and evaluate the individual Marines in T&R (training and readiness) tasks”, says Gunnery Sgt Harley Herron, a native of Boulder Junction, Wis., and a light armored reconnaissance Marine unit leader with 2d LAR. “From there the individuals work as a whole to accomplish the mission.”
This training is a new experience as well as a test to determine if the Marines are deemed ready to deploy with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. The MCCRE started in Camp Lejeune, N.C. with a water crossing.
“We wanted to do something unfamiliar to 2d LAR by coming to Fort Pickett, over 280 kilometers from our home base,” explained Master Gunnery Sgt. Jason Skinner, a native of Midland, Texas, and the Operations Chief for 2d LAR.
Utilizing Fort Pickett allowed the Marines to conduct a long range raid, exercising vehicles and long range communications.
“This forces the Marines to rely and trust the equipment and the Marine scouts as they paint a picture of the unfamiliar terrain and battlefield,” says Skinner.
With this training, the Marines expanded their skill sets while being evaluated in preparation for deployment. 2d LAR is equipped for any rigorous tasks given to them and keeps 2d MARDIV and the Marine Corps as a whole a more lethal and capable warfighting organization.