MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Smoke filled the air at the end of the breaching and clearing exercise signifying that the Marines with Combat Engineer Battalion 2nd Marine division had accomplished their task and maneuvered through the breaching and clearing course successfully.
In this field exercise Marines had to use the four basic combat engineer qualities being mobility, counter mobility, assault and general engineering to not only breach and clear the training area built to build a forward operating base and the breaching and clearing course.
1st LT John M. Lunbeen the heavy equipment platoon commander for Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, was in charge of planning all the heavy equipment operations for the breaching and clearing field exercise September 12, 2013.
Lunbeen is in charge of planning and conducting all the heavy equipment operations for Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division.
Approximately 30 marines from Mobility Assault Company took part in the actual breaching and clearing exercise, and approximately 70 marines from Combat Engineer Battalion took part in the field exercise, Lunbeen said.
Marines from Alpha Company, Combat Engineer Battalion 2nd Marine Division designed and built the engineer course with the help of heavy equipment operators who built berms and dug tank ditches, Lunbeen said.
The breaching and clearing course consisted of coiled razor wire, tank ditches and berms for the Marines to navigate through.
Lance Cpl. Alexander G. Delphia a heavy equipment operator for Combat Engineer battalion 2nd Marine division took part in the training exercise by moving gear and building berms.
The hardest part of being a combat engineer is learning some of the techniques, Delphia said. Once you get out here in a field exercise Marines realize what they can actually do with a piece of equipment, Delphia said.
Combat engineers are capable of many things from building training areas to building forward operating bases and then deconstructing them.
“We are in charge of building and tearing down forward operating bases,” Delphia said.
Heavy equipment operators with Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division were in control of the building and deconstruction of the forward operating base and the breaching and clearing course.
Combat engineers move everything that the Marine Corps needs them to, from forks to heavy equipment, Delphia said.
“My favorite thing is that everyone has their own way of building or tearing down and it lets you build off of what people before you have done,” Delphia said. At the school for this Marines learn the basic techniques so when they hit the fleet they can expand their knowledge and sort of find their own way of doing things.
“When you get out here in training environments you get to use things you would in combat,” Delphia said.
Marines with Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division completed the one of the main objectives in finishing the breaching and clearing course September 12, 2013.