Recognition well deserved: Alpha co. 1/8 said to be 2nd to complete MAC
By Cpl. Tyler Andersen, II Marine Expeditionary Force
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif --
When it comes to execution of proper technique and accurate coordination, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment's very own Alpha Company and supporting elements have shown they can deliver after their performance during the Mechanized Assault Course attack aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, Oct. 30, 2015.
Alpha was the second company in the entire Marine Corps to successfully reach all the objectives and complete the training exercise.
"I'm just really happy the we executed proper technique and it worked out on that day for us," said Capt. Mark P. Paige, the Alpha Company commander.
The MAC is a mechanized assault against three sequential objectives, simulating a platoon defense in depth with an enemy combat security outpost and an enemy main engagement area. The engagement area is reinforced with surface-to-air threat along with complex obstacles, followed by a defense reinforced by tanks.
"It's not that we did anything special or that we're better than anybody else, it's the fact that all the agencies were on their A-game that day when they supported us," said Paige. "Any one of the companies out here could have done it any day of the week."
A major contributor to Alpha's success was the fire support team (FiST), comprised of a joint terminal attack controller, an artillery forward observer, two scouts, and an 81 millimeter mortar forward observer.
Other supporting assets included a tank platoon, an assault amphibian vehicle platoon, two combined anti-armor teams, an obstacle clearing detachment, an engineer squad from Combat Logistics Battalion 2, and artillery from 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines Regiment.
1st Lt. Noah M. Miller, the weapons platoon commander and FiST team leader for Alpha Company, said the attack took approximately six hours, utilizing all assets in their disposal in order to put the enemy in a combined arms dilemma, allowing Alpha to close with and destroy the enemy within the corridor.
Finishing the entire course within a timely manner is the main objective for any unit that participates in the MAC.
"The trickiest part was maintaining momentum and pushing forward," said Miller. "I think the company succeeded and did well, and we executed our mission despite any points of friction.
With the MAC completed for Integrated Training Exercise, Miller said he sees the company doing very well on deployment.
"I'm proud to be in Alpha Company, 1/8. I think we have a great company, a great command team, and a great battalion overall," said Miller. "We work very well together, and I look forward to doing great things with them in the future."
Alpha Company, along with the rest of 1/8, will use the training the received during ITX to prepare for their upcoming deployment as part of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response Africa and Black Sea Rotational Force.