Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune --
Taking on the surf and
creating massive waves of their own, Marines with 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 2nd
Assault Amphibian Battalion, conducted a series of amphibious operations
including embarking, debarking and beach assaults on Onslow Beach aboard Camp
Lejeune, North Carolina, Aug. 17, 2015.
The Platoon conducts
amphibious operations about once every month. This training in particular is to
keep the proficiency high for all the Marines in the battalion.
“We’re making sure the
Marines still know what they’re doing. You have to stay proficient while you’re
training. We need to stay up with what we do which is going in the water,
maintaining and making sure the guys know what to do.” said Cpl Tomas Martinez,
a crew chief with the platoon.
During this exercise, the
platoon began with gator squares. Gator squares involve the AAVs going out into
the waves, continuing 500– 1000 meters
and making a large square, come back around and come on shore. The AAV’s go in
succession of one another, following the vehicle in front of them and creating
a large square to come back around and form back up. This helps them gain
confidence in their ability to be aboard the AAV’s.
Martinez says, being able to
train with vehicles like these is what keeps the Marine Corps amphibious,
Martinez says. He added that there are other vehicles that can wadein the
water, cross small streams, but there is no other vehicle that can go from ship
to shore or far out in the ocean.
Frequently doing training
like this keeps the Marines proficient in their Military Occupational Specialty
and the capabilities they perform.
“I have to be able to know
what I’m doing. Being out here is really just fine tuning what I already know,
if I can’t employ my vehicle proficiently then I’m not able to help to my
platoon,” said LCpl. Brandon Kelly, an AAV operator.
The battalion’s overall
mission is to land the surface assault element of the landing force during
amphibious operations and once ashore to continue to bring the fight to the
enemy through mechanized operations.
Kelly emphasized the
importance of training like this, “It’s always good to get a little bit of
extra training in, you can never be too ready, especially for a job like this
when we’re out in the water and out in the ocean. The ocean is a formidable
[obstacle] and it’s not something to be taken lightly.”