1/2 prepares for Exercise Eager Lion 16 with squad exercise
By Cpl. Paul S. Martinez, II Marine Expeditionary Force
Marines with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division made their arrival in an allied nation known during a squad exercise in preparation for Exercise Eager Lion 16 in Al Quweyrah, Jordan, May 14.
The unit, which arrived in the region May 9, used the days before the exercise to adjust to their environment and apply their infantry skills within the ranges across the vast desert area.
“Today we did a tactical decision exercise with our squads,” said Cpl. Kory Jackson, a squad leader with the Alpha Company. “It entails patrolling, movement of squads and the use of support by fire positions.”
Platoon commanders moved alongside squad leaders on the ground, relaying any given combat scenario their way and leaving in their hands how to respond using the Marines and capabilities at their command.
“Everything we are doing out here, whether it is patrolling, or movement to contact, benefits all of these Marines,” Jackson said. “For a lot of them, this is their first time training outside of the country. We are building cohesion and adding to their experience as infantry Marines.”
On higher ground, machine gunners and assault men simulated the use of their M240B medium machine guns and shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapons when directed to by squad leaders moving below.
“As squad leaders led their Marines on the ground, we were on higher ground in a support by fire with machine gunners, until the squad leader called for a rocket, at which point I engaged their target,” said Lance Cpl. Tristin Kennedy, an assaultman with Weapons Platoon.
For the squad leaders, having their junior Marines get the most out of training in an overseas environment is a top priority.
“My goal here is to ensure my squad gets the valuable experience of working alongside the forces of an allied nation,” Jackson said.
Eager Lion is a recurring exercise between partner nations designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships, increase interoperability, and enhance regional security and stability.