MARINE CORPS BASE TWENTYNINE PALMS, California --
Marines with Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, conducted the Tank Mechanized Assault Course aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, Nov. 2-3, 2014. The training was a part of Integrated Training Exercise 1-15.
Various Marine Corps combat elements played a role in the TMAC to support Company A with their mission. Corporal David Suyatokamoto, a forward observer with Company A, explained how complex it was.
“We have all these different elements,” said Suyatokamoto, a native of Honolulu. “We have infantry, artillery, tanks and air, all coming together for this one exercise.”
On the day leading up to the assault, Marines formed a defensive position known as “the coil” to provide security before heading out the following day.
“This set-up is to provide 360-degree security,” said Suyatokamoto. “We have the headquarters element in the middle with everyone else spread out and surrounding them facing outward.”
After conducting radio checks and confirming that everyone was equipped and ready to roll, they began a convoy towards the staging area for the assault. Corporal James Douglas, a squad leader with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, played an important role in the assault.
“We’re out here to support the tanks while they’re doing a mechanized assault on some trenches. Once they get close enough we come up and assault through the trenches,” said Douglas, from Kennesaw, Georgia. “Depending on how the trenches are constructed, you can only do so much with tanks. You’re going to miss things if you don’t have the boots on the ground doing their thing.”
In scenarios like these it’s important to have the different combat elements working side-by-side to ensure mission accomplishment.
“It’s not always going to be just tanks or just grunts on a mission,” said Douglas. “We’re going to be working together; it’s important that we learn how they operate so we don’t interfere with them while trying to support them.”