CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines with Military Police Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, conducted a four-day field exercise to prepare for possible upcoming deployments to Afghanistan, aboard Camp Lejeune, March 15 to 18.
The field exercise was part of a new training cycle that the company is conducting to ensure Marines in the company retain the skills needed to remain tactically ready for combat deployments.
The Marines began the exercise by hiking to a site where they immediately cleared an area and set up security. They put up a tent, which served as the command post, and dug fighting holes around the perimeter to emplace their security personnel. The Marines even went as far as setting up an entry control point to monitor passing traffic outside of their camp, adding a realistic touch to the training.
“The Marines are living as if they were in the field in Afghanistan, outside of the wire,” said Staff Sgt. William Hermann, a staff noncommissioned officer with MP Co. “We want them to be able to fend for themselves with little resources. They have to be self-supportive to be successful.”
The Marines received classes on three of the Corps’ major weapons systems: the M-249 squad automatic weapon, the M-240G medium machine gun, and the M-203 grenade launcher. They then participated in a live-fire range and night shoot where they were able to conduct practical application using the weapons.
“I’ve learned a lot about the weapons systems and how they operate,” said Lance Cpl. George R. Botelho, a field military policeman with MP Co. “I’ve also increased my knowledge of convoy security, being part of a quick reaction force, and providing security to a [forward operating base].”
The leadership of the noncommissioned officers of MP Co. proved to be a big part in the training. While some of the NCOs served as team leaders during the field exercise, the remaining NCOs acted as aggressors during patrolling and convoy exercises.
The Marines were instructed to hold a defensive position and capture and detain the aggressors using proper detainee-handling techniques
“It’s great coming into my unit and having experienced NCOs that have been [deployed] before, to pass their knowledge on to us during the training,” said Botelho, who checked into MP Co. about three weeks ago.
Because of the steady flow of new Marines coming into the company, Hermann said they were going to begin training in a cyclic method so that all of the new Marines are properly trained and the other Marines are able to maintain their skills.
“We want to start doing this field exercise every other month or so,” said Hermann. “Training has to be constant if you want to stay good at what you do.”
MP Co. has recently increased their training tempo. In only the past couple of months, the company has conducted a grenade range, a mine detection course, simulated convoy training, and a night infiltration course.
“If we keep training like we are I know that when it comes time for me to deploy I will definitely be confident and ready,” said Hermann.