CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait --
The hard-charging Marines and sailors of Companies K and L shook the ground of Camp Buehring, the remote desert training camp, during a recent grenade-throwing training exercise.
The training exercise, one of many sustainment exercises the Marines will be conducting, not only emphasized safety and excellence of execution, but also helped eliminate anxieties any of the younger Marines may have developed in the past.
"When it comes to throwing grenades, sometimes Marines tend to get jittery and that's when bad things happen. So, just relax and follow your training,"said 2nd Lt. Mathew Seglem while addressing the Marines prior to the start of training.
According to Lance Cpl. Bradley Turnbo of Co. K, Weapons Platoon, it is always a hair-raising feeling when he releases that grenade and feels the vibration of the ground soon after the explosion. This is his first deployment and only his third time throwing a grenade.
Making an unscheduled stop to view the training was Col. Doug Stilwell, the commanding officer for the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) and his Sergeant Major, Sgt. Maj. Thomas Hall.
According to Stilwell, he believes it is important to get out and visit training for several reasons. First, he wants to personally ensure his Marines and sailors are given the time and attention they need to gain thorough individual and unit proficiency in preparation for combat. Second, he wants each of them to know that they are important and that their training is one of his top priorities.
"This kind of training will save lives,"said Stilwell. "It also gives Marines the confidence and conviction they need to apply this training without hesitation in a combat environment."
Stilwell added that another reason he visits the training sites is more personal than professional.
"I want to be around our Marines and sailors,"said Stilwell. "Whether individually or collectively, they are the primary reason that our Marine Corps is so revered. There is nothing better than to be amongst fellow warriors."
Companies K and L, are part of Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, and are currently deployed as the Ground Combat Element for the 22nd MEU(SOC).