CAPU MIDIA, ROMANIA --
Marines and sailors with Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted military operations in urban terrain training aboard Capu Midia, Romania, July 31, 2011.
The training was part of the Summer Storm Amphibious Bilateral Exercise 11, a five-day exercise with Romanian Marines from the 307th Marine Infantry Battalion, to increase the interoperability between American and Romanian forces.
“The training went really well. We had a large amount of training to cover, which is good,” said 1st Lt. Samuel Moore, a platoon commander with Echo Company and New Port, N.H., native.
Old, abandoned, stone buildings made a perfect setting to demonstrate MOUT operations. The Romanian and U.S. forces used the buildings to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures for conducting two-man room clearing, four-man room clearing, hallway clearing, and other MOUT techniques.
The Marines executed each task with speed, precision and alertness, with weapons at the ready, and quick deliberate movements. They were followed shortly by the Romanians, whose high level of discipline and similar tactics surprised some of the Marines.
“It’s kind of cool to see a foreign military that we’ve never personally trained with have some of the same [tactics, techniques and procedures] that we do,” said Cpl. Clay C. Johnson, a squad leader with Echo Company and Bruceton Mills, W. Va., native. “I was pretty impressed.”
The Marine Corps’ well-developed MOUT doctrine combined with Echo Company’s combat experience gave the Romanians real-world experience to learn from and implement.
“The training helped my Marines understand the way that they should act in a real environment,” said 1st Lt. Liviu Visan, a Romanian Marine platoon commander with the 307th Marine Infantry Battalion. “I saw a few details, that my Marines also observed, that, in the future, will be implemented into their training.”
As the MEU Marines moved through their checklist of training objectives it became clear that they weren’t just teaching the Romanians, but learning from them as well.
“The Romanians are already pretty proficient in things that we do,” said Staff Sgt. Timothy M. Ward, a platoon sergeant with Echo Company and a Phoenix, native. “A lot of it is fine tuning that makes them better and makes us better because we don’t always see ourselves and make those small corrections.”
By the end of the day, the jesting, laughing and overall atmosphere was a clear sign of the camaraderie built between the Romanians and Marines.
“It’s been nothing but positive,” said Moore. “When they’re friendly it makes a more positive overall experience and they actually get more out of the training.”
The Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU are currently deployed with Amphibious Squadron 6 aboard the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group serving as a potent, formidable and deterrent force who continues to train and improve their capability to operate as a cohesive and effective Marine Air Ground Task Force.
The 22nd MEU is a multi-mission, capable force, commanded by Col. Eric J. Steidl and comprised of an Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); a Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; a Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; and its Command Element.
Marine Expeditionary Units are the Marine Corps’ smallest permanent Marine Air-Ground Task Force, and each is comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors ready to provide immediate response to hostile environment or crisis.