'America's Battalion' plunges into pre-deployment training

By Cpl. Nathan Knapke, Marine Corps Base Hawaii


Throughout the history of the Marine Corps, conducting amphibious assaults has been an essential portion of warfare tactics.

In keeping with tradition, Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, demonstrated their sea-to-land assault capabilities as they stormed Fort Hase Beach aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii during Exercise Island Viper, May 19, 2014.

Lima Company participated in a “round robin” with the battalion’s companies. The round robin consisted of three main sections of training, including amphibious, live-fire and urban training. All companies will rotate through each of the three sections throughout the 15 training days to complete that portion of Exercise Island Viper.

“Marines are amphibious by nature and I think it’s good for us to do as much amphibious training especially as we move out of the Middle East,” said Lance Cpl. Daniel Wood, third squad leader for third platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Bn., 3rd Marines. “It’s good to train this way because we become more familiar with (the) equipment and each other’s methods to know what each other is capable of. It creates better unity among us.”

Marines loaded into amphibious assault vehicles at Landing Zone Boondocker and went through several dry practice runs to successfully complete a beach landing. After hours of preparation at LZ Boondocker, they tracked over to Fort Hase Beach where they formed up in the AAVs to enter Kailua Bay. In groups of three, the assault vehicles went more than a mile out into the ocean. They then turned around and continued back to shore.

“An infantry battalion has four core competences,” said 1st Lt. Matthew Hanks, executive officer for Lima Co., 3rd Bn., 3rd Marines. “We have to perfect our amphibious, offensive, defensive and stability tactics. Specifically, 3rd Marines has to retain its lethality and readiness. It’s a solution that is expeditionary by nature. The more expeditious we are, the better we serve the Marine Corps and our country.

“We are not just here to train,” Hanks added. “We are sharpening our knife to strike anywhere at anytime. With that knife, no enemy will be able to recover from the blow we deliver. That’s what we are doing here today — sharpening our knife.”

Image3rd Marine Regiment; 3rd Bn. Image3rd Marines; AAV; amphibious assault vehicle ImageExercise Lava Viper; 'America's Battalion;' 3rd Battalion

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