Bridge Co. rucks up for field exercise
By Cpl. Devin Nichols
| | October 28, 2013
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Early in the morning, Marines carried their packs and staged them with their squads.
The air was chilly, the light was dim and it was cold, but the weather did not faze the 22 Marines with Improved Ribbon Bridge Platoon, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group.
IRB Plt. started their two-day field exercise with a full-pack run from the Bridge Company, 8th ESB lot to Engineer Point, 2.5 miles away. From there, the Marines put their weighted packs onto zodiac boats and rowed across to Wells Point.
Once the Marines reached the other side, they harnessed their packs and worked as a team to carry the zodiacs to their training site.
The Marines with the platoon then set up the command operations center and began land navigation training.
“We have been doing continuous operations on the water for the past three months, supporting II Marine Expeditionary Force,” said 1st Lt. Tyler D. Martin, an Alexandria, Va., native and IRB Plt. commander with Bridge Co. “I wanted to get the Marines out and learn the basic Marine Corps tactics, land navigation training and just get them back out in the woods.”
The Marines conducted a pace count in the local terrain then were instructed to find eight coordinates during the day portion of land navigation training. Service members worked together in pairs to find these points.
“The Marines are excited and performed very well,” said Sgt. Brandon L. Patrick, a Nashville, Tenn., native, and platoon sergeant for IRB platoon. “We are used to dealing with boats a lot and they adapted very well. Now that the boat operations are out of the way, it leaves us open to doing more land navigation, patrolling and things like that. It’s bringing the Marines together.”
Marines had several hours to find their points and return before their time was up. After completion of the day portion of land navigation training, the platoon was given four more coordinates to find at night.
“The intent was to get the Marines proficient with land navigation and get back to the basics,” said Patrick. “It’s something Marines should continually learn”
The following day, Marines woke up early and began an approximately 5-mile hike back to the Bridge Co. lot in completion of their field exercise.
“We haven’t been in the field in a long time and soon we want to start a patrolling package, demolition range and convoy operations,” said Martin. “We felt that land navigation would be the jump off point for the upcoming exercises.”