Photo Information

Marines with Force Company, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division clear a room after conducting a mechanical breach during a breach and clear exercise aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 15, 2015. Marines with Force Company conducted explosive and mechanical breaches and limited force raids in preparation for future deployments.

Photo by Cpl. Joshua Brown

Swift, silent, deadly: Force Recon breaks down doors

26 Jan 2015 | Cpl. Joshua Brown The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines and sailors with Force Company, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, conducted limited-skills raid exercises Jan. 16, at a range at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 

The limited-skills raids tested the Marines by combining several areas of reconnaissance training including breaching, room clearing and enemy detainment. 

Limited-skills raids are vital to reconnaissance units because they effectively allow Marines to enter a hostile area and overcome enemy combatants. Each raid is different and Recon Marines have to learn various techniques for breaching and clearing buildings, according to Staff Sgt. Corey A. Gonzalez, a team leader with Force Company.

During the exercise, Marines practiced breaching techniques by using explosive charges and mechanized tools to gain entrance into fortified buildings. Explosive charges are the primary method used by reconnaissance units to gain entrance into buildings; however, Marines carry secondary tools such as sledgehammers and Halligan bars in the event that an explosive charge fails to detonate. 

For many of the Marines, this was their first time using these charges and techniques to gain entry and clear a building.

For a majority of the Marines this was a new experience. The training was great because the facility allowed the Marines to practice breaching scenarios while firing simulated rounds, which is realistic to reconnaissance missions according to Sgt. Daniel Burnap, an assistant team leader with Force Company. 

The skill levels within the group varied greatly, so the team leaders and assistant team leaders with more experience provided instruction to the inexperienced Marines within their teams. Experiences on deployments have shown the importance of training and constantly practicing the techniques, according to Gonzalez, who has deployed twice to Iraq.

“We train to high standards so we can attain mission success under any circumstance, “said Gonzalez.

Teamwork was stressed throughout the duration of the exercise and team members rotated tasks in an effort to learn the responsibilities associated with each position within the team.

The value of the training for the unit was ensuring each Marine understood the basics of limited-skills raids, according to Gonzalez.

“We established a foundation for the junior Marines and executed without hesitation,” said Gonzalez. “In a real scenario, we would gauge our success by mission success. But here, it was all about establishing ourselves as a detachment. We did that very well.”