MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJUENE N.C. --
A grenade ignites, spilling a cloud of smoke into the air as Marines with 1st platoon, Company F, Anti-Terrorism Battalion, attached to 2nd Marine Division, rush through the grass while supported by heavy machine gun fire. One by one, the Marines bound toward the enemy, continuing their relentless assault. A shot rings out and the last target falls thanks to the Marines’ quick thinking and experienced use of tactics.
This scene repeated itself throughout the week, as each platoon with Co F, pushed through the squad based fire assault course, conducted aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 15.
The course was part of a training exercise in which the platoons cycled through events, such as the assault course, an offensive attack and holding a defensive position.
“It's important to train on all facets of the basics,” said Capt. Juan Cristales, inspector-trainer, Anti-Terrorism Battalion. “This range not only helped the Marines understand concepts such as fire and movement, but also helped the squad leaders and team leaders gain a better understanding of assault positions as well as shifting and ceasing a support by fire position.”
The Marines began the support by fire assault course by navigating through the range’s tree line while being supported by a machine gun position. After clearing the tree line, the Marines proceeded to push toward their objective while simultaneously firing at practice targets until every target had fallen.
“This training goes back to basic tactics and lays the ground work for much more advanced tactics that may be needed during the upcoming deployment,” said Staff Sgt. Keith Isaac, platoon sergeant, 1st platoon, Co. F. “The course is also increasing the proficiency of the Marines as well as helping them gain cohesion within the unit.”
Throughout the course, the Marines conducted a dry-fire run which was followed by a debriefing over a terrain model. During the debrief, the Marines received recommendations from their leadership and discussed what they thought went well and what could have been done better.
“This training lets you know real quick who’s on point and who’s not,” said Sgt. Jacob Lowe, 3rd squad leader, 1st platoon, Co. F, AT Bn., “which really helps my Marines gain a lot of experience and knowledge.”