Photo Information

U.S. Marine Sgt. Andy Muller aims in during a dry-fire drill at a close-quarters tactics course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 25, 2014. Muller is a receiver-transmitter operator with Bravo Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. These Marines are enhancing their skills before compositing with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit in October.

Photo by Cpl. Anna Albrecht

Recon Marines sharpen communication during CQT

2 Oct 2014 | Cpl. Anna Albrecht The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines with Company B, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, participated in their fourth week of a close-quarters tactics course at Camp Pendleton, California, Sept. 25, 2014. This course is designed to help the Marines maintain speed and accuracy while applying close-quarter tactics before compositing with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit in October.

The Company is training to be the number one force the MEU commander can call upon for any type of mission from an urban environment to tight quarters on a ship, according to Sgt. Ian Walker, an assistant team leader with the company.

“No matter where we’re going, we’re flying in helicopters and going to an urban environment, going to go sit up on a hill for four or five days straight or we’re going to go out and hit a ship or some kind of boat to take it down,” said Walker, a native of Anderson, California. “This whole company has trained together and we’re able to do that no matter what team you pick.”

While the Marines are split into teams they work within their entire platoon and company during their training, according to Walker.

“You never know who you’re going to be next to in a stack while you’re moving through a building or a whole urban environment, so we train with everyone in the company,” said Walker.

Working together the past few weeks allows the Marines to work on their communication as they move through an environment.

“Whatever you see in the house, you need to communicate so the guys behind you know what they’re running into, otherwise they’re blind until they’re actually in that room set up,” said Walker. “Once you’re in the room you take that quick look using your peripheral vision and actually seeing what that next guy is going to do. You can read his body language; you can see what that guy’s going to do, what he’s thinking, before he actually does it.”

Strong communication is key to success when moving through a house, according to Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Homestead, a platoon sergeant with the company.

“With initiative-based tactics, you should be able to react [off of non-verbal communication]. You should be able to see what your buddy is doing to your left and right and then be able to react off of that,” said Homestead, a native of McMinnville, Oregon. “That’s how we flow through a house without slowing things down. Once it gets loud, we will go with the verbal communication just to ensure our explicit communications are there, everyone understands what’s going on and there’s no confusion.”

The Marines with the company will employ the skills they learned throughout the course during their upcoming deployment with the 15th MEU.

“In Recon we have numerous different mission-sets so this just gives us another tool in the toolbox for the MEU commander to be able to utilize a precision raid-force,” said Homestead.

The Marines will continue to work together as they fine-tune more and more tactics during this course. After the CQT course, they will continue to train with the 15th MEU until deployment.