Photo Information

Two U.S. Marines with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), provide cover fire as Marines carry a simulated casualty to medical aid while conducting a platoon-sized raid on a simulated town during urban tactics training as part of the MEU’s Realistic Urban Training exercise at Fort Pickett, Va., Aug. 31, 2013. More than 160 Marines from the BLT practiced fire team and squad-level room and building clearings before progressing to platoon-sized raids on the town. The MEU is scheduled to deploy in early 2014 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. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Austin Hazard/Released)

Photo by Sgt. Austin Hazard

22nd MEU BLT completes urban tactics training

29 Aug 2013 | Sgt. Austin Hazard

U.S. Marines with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), completed urban tactics training as part of the MEU’s Realistic Urban Training at Fort Pickett, Va., Aug. 29, 2013, in preparation for the MEU’s 2014 deployment.

 

More than 160 Alpha Company Marines practiced fire team and squad-level room and building clearings before progressing to platoon-sized raids on a simulated town, made up of multiple buildings and role-players.

 

“The Marines showed that they have retained a lot of the skills we’ve trained for in the past,” said U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Rob Mortenson, weapons platoon commander and native of Stafford, Va. “They also showed that they are ready to push forward as the BLT’s motorized raid force.”

 

The town included buildings with multiple rooms, doors, windows and stairs. Buildings represented banks, apartments and stores, and most featured numerous hiding spots that tested the Marines’ reaction time. Role players used these spaces to hide and ambush the Marines.

 

“The building layouts were really complex, totally different from what we’re used to,” said Lance Cpl. John Misoulis, grenadier and native of New York City. “It put us a little out of our element at first, but it helped us learn to adapt to unusual setups.”

 

The Marines also practiced breaching, tactical site exploitation and reacting to improvised explosive devices.

 

“This training proves that the Marines are capable of completing tasks on a compressed timeline, which is how the MEU operates,” added Mortenson. “They’ve also proven that they can successfully take an objective they’ve never seen before, which will normally be the case during real operations.”

 

Throughout the training, the Marines performed both day and night assaults on the town.

 

“Night room clearing was the coolest part,” said Misoulis. “We got to do some ‘Ricky recon’ type stuff where we cleared rooms without speaking.”

 

For the final exercise, each platoon took turns raiding the town as a whole, requiring more coordination amongst the small-unit leaders.

 

“As a squad leader, the most challenging part of this training was maintaining control of the whole squad while completing the objective,” said Cpl. Kevin Boblits, squad leader and native of Frederick, Md.

 

The final exercise also included role players, with both sides using blank ammunition and training grenades.

 

“By using role players with blanks, it helped the Marines to get some actual feedback to know when they were being suppressed,” noted Boblits. “The only better practice for that is (simulated munitions) or actual gunfire.”

 

This training will be followed by a motorized raid exercise, where each platoon will conduct their own raid on an urban target.

 

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.
22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit