MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
As Marines from 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, practiced defensive blocking operations they were joined by sections from 2nd Tank Battalion and 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion.
Marines from 1/9 set up positions along a gridded area through which simulated enemy troops and vehicles would be trying to escape as part of their training Oct. 1-4.
The purpose of the training was to give the Marines a chance to work with their counterparts and learn defensive basics such as setting booby traps, digging fighting holes and how to prepare for enemy contact.
“This training is beneficial for the Marines, not only because they get a chance to perform defensive fundamentals, but also because it’s a great chance for them to work with their counterparts,” Capt. Juan Plascencia, the Company B commanding officer, said. “We even have Marines coming from different units like (2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment) to simulate the enemy and probe our defensive lines.”
The scenario for the Marines was that they were in the country of Sierra and the Marine Expeditionary Brigade had been sent in to the country of LAT to clear out enemy personnel and the blocking was to prevent any of them from escaping.
“It’s good training for the junior and the senior Marines since we don’t get that many opportunities to train with the different units,” Lance Cpl. Christian Ponte, a team leader with 1st platoon, said. “We got to experience what is was like splashing on the beach with (2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion) as well as working with (2nd Tank Battalion) to set up a defensive line.”
For Marines like Lance Cpl. Alex Schaab, a squad leader and Hendersonville, Tenn., native, it was a chance for him to come over from his typical job as a machine gunner and teach some of the junior Marines.
“It’s a different perspective for me to come over here and work with different Marines, and to get the chance to work with all the units is pretty awesome,” said Schaab. “We even did a helo insert which the only time I have ever done one of those was at (Mojave Viper) and it’s a rare opportunity for a lot of Marines that I’m glad I got to take part in.”