MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines with Tank Platoon, Company B, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, conducted a three-day field training exercise at Landing Zone Hawk at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Nov. 12-14.
The platoon set out to develop their collective critical skills and execute the tasks they will be evaluated on during their stay at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, scheduled for the spring.
“The intent here was two main goals,” said 1st Lt. Kenton Comstock, the platoon commander of Tank Platoon, Co. B, GCEITF. “To build crew cohesion and proficiency; and to familiarize our Marines with the tasks essential for our platoon to operate, as well as tasks that we will be evaluated on in Twentynine Palms.”
Over the three-day training period, the platoon practiced tank recovery via land tow, raced the clock in crew evacuation drills and kept maintenance skills sharp by breaking and repairing the tracks of the M1A1 Abrams tank.
“The Marines are retaining what they have learned,” said Sgt. Gilbert Ibarra, an M1A1 tank crewman with Tank Platoon, Co. B, GCEITF. “It shows when they get the opportunity to train out here. It’s good for me and good for them.”
The platoon will continue building their crew-level proficiency before executing a live-fire event early next year.
“(The training) was productive,” Comstock said. “We’ve got junior Marines learning and senior Marines learning. The growth has been exponential.”
From October 2014 to July 2015, the GCEITF will conduct individual and collective level skills training in designated ground combat arms occupational specialties in order to facilitate the standards based assessment of the physical performance of Marines in a simulated operating environment performing specific ground combat arms tasks.