MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1st Battalion, 6th Marine
Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit’s (MEU) light armored reconnaissance (LAR)
company completed a motorized raid course at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune,
N.C., Aug. 22, 2013.
More than 120 Marines in more than 20 light armored
vehicles (LAVs) worked alongside Alpha Company, BLT 1/6, during the weeklong
“The purpose of this course is to give the company a
chance to establish its standard operating procedures,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt.
John Moseley, LAR company master gunner and native of Dallas. “This is also our
first chance as a company to work with 1/6 and a chance for the battalion to
learn how to use us as an isolation force.”
As a BLT asset, the LAR company is designed to push ahead
of the battalion and create blockades to isolate enemy threats and control the
flow of battle.
Within the company, nearly every LAV has a team of
infantrymen used as scouts. These scout teams are small, similar to individual
fire teams, and provide security for the vehicles, scouting ahead and securing
areas by foot as needed. The rest of the company is composed primarily of LAV
drivers, machine gunners and vehicle commanders.
The specialized nature of the course offered the company more
relevant training, which conventional training often lacks due to LAR’s unique
mission and composition.
“A lot of instructors don’t really understand us or know
exactly how we’re supposed to operate, but this course and these instructors
are really helping us evaluate ourselves,” said Lance Cpl. Ryder Johnston, LAV
driver and native of Lorton, Va. “It’s taught us to be aggressive when hitting
a building and how to fine tune our procedures.”
Throughout the week, Special Operations Training Group
(SOTG) instructors evaluated the LAR company’s planning and execution of two day
raids and one night raid on various targets.
“With this training, we’re starting to see that task
organization and how we’ll work into the MEU’s operations,” said Moseley.
The course also served to help reintegrate the company
“This is the point where we’re finding that scout-to-crew
integration and platoon-to-company integration,” said 1st Lt. Ryan Feeney, company
executive officer and native of Castro Valley, Calif. “With SOTG instructors
running the course, our platoon sergeants and platoon commanders can get
involved and get trained instead of staying back and evaluating.”
For the course’s final day and night raids, the Marines assaulted
two large compounds filled with enemy role players. Equipped with blank
ammunition, both Marines and LAVs cleared their objectives and provided medical
evacuations for simulated casualties as needed.
“It’s taught us what we’re bad at and what we’re good
at,” said Johnston. “It shows us where we stand.”
“I want them to have the baseline of expectations of the
MEU and better understand the planning process involved with its operations,”
The MEU’s deployment will take it to the U.S. 5th and 6th
Fleet areas of responsibility with the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group as a
sea-based, expeditionary crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious
missions across the full range of military operations.