CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The training tempo has increased for the Marines of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group as they prepare for upcoming deployments to Afghanistan as part of the President’s push in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Several units conduct training, such as live-fire ranges, gas chambers and patrolling exercises, to prepare for what they may experience during future deployments.
Recently, Marines from Military Police Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd MLG, conducted several training and field operations, including a metal detector course, M-67 grenade range and a combat convoy simulator.
Marines from Combat Logistics Battalion 26 participated in an eight-day training exercise in preparation for their upcoming deployment with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Additionally, Combat Logistics Battalion 2 and 8th Engineer Support Battalion are currently attending the Battle Skills Training School aboard the base.
Master Sgt. Clarence A. Davis, the tactical readiness and training operations chief for the 2nd MLG, said that as tension shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan, so did the focus of the MLG’s predeployment training.
“The two places are very different and we have taken lessons learned from each of them to develop the training that we conduct today,” Davis said. “The more advanced we get, the smarter our enemy gets. We have to adapt to the enemy in order to defeat them.”
Davis said that although small units are conducting their own predeployment training, a majority of the training comes from BSTS.
At BSTS, a team of instructors teach a five-day long course that includes classes on common military operations such as, machine gun training, patrols, communications, convoy operations, call-for-fire, searches, land navigation and military operations in urban terrain or MOUT.
“It is important that the Marines are fully trained before deploying to Afghanistan so that the Marines can safely conduct operations without putting themselves in unnecessary harm’s way,” said Sgt. Joseph Darcey, an instructor at BSTS.
The instructors at the school said that the students’ welfare is important to them.
“The Marines we train are not just numbers, they are people to us,” said Cpl. Bobby Gray. “We don’t train them to just push numbers through; we train Marines to ensure they are ready to endure the severities of combat.
“We are not fighting in a war with a uniformed service, so linear skills, [such as fighting on line with the enemy], are not needed,” Gray continued. “We don’t know who our enemy is. That’s why things such as MOUT are so imperative to our training.”
Davis and the BSTS instructors all agreed it is important for MLG Marines to constantly train for deployments.
“If you take a look at your basic warrior from an infantry battalion, they live and breathe basic infantry skills,” said Davis, an infantryman by trade. “It’s encrypted in their brains from the [School of Infantry] and throughout their careers as infantrymen. However, logistics Marines need more targeted training to prepare them for what their individual jobs will require of them while deployed.”
Davis explained that logistics Marines conduct many convoys during an Afghanistan deployment, so the training the Marines receive is based upon what they may experience during a convoy.
Marines are trained in improvised explosive device detection, vehicle recovery, call for fire techniques and the tracking systems used on convoys, Davis said.
“Good training saves lives and training is the only thing Marines have to fall back on,” Davis said. “When our junior leaders are making quick decisions they are usually referring back to some type of training they previously received. That’s why it is imperative that we challenge them and provide them with the most realistic training that we can offer.”