MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/152959/7th-regiment-maintains-combat-readiness#.VMpen2TF-Qe#ixzz3QEDxMAVw -- Smoke rises from the ground and tear gas billows out of canisters, engulfing the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. Riflemen settle into fighting holes, amidst cold winds and harsh desert conditions, while quickly equipping their gas masks.
Marines with 7th Marine Regiment participated in the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation Exercise, Jan. 12-21, 2015, at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California. MCREE allowed Marines with 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment to peer-review their counterparts in order to better prepare them for their upcoming deployment. 3rd Bn., 7th Marines is currently slated to deploy as part of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Crisis Response - Central Command 15-2 in support of operations in the region.
“MCCREE is a series of live-fire and dry-fire field exercises that a unit gets evaluated on [while] receiving feedback from another battalion in the regiment,” said Capt. Kevin Fallon, the Commander of Company I, 3rd Bn., 7th Marines. ” In our case, [1st Battalion, 7th Marines] evaluated us.”
Throughout the exercise Marines from 1st battalion evaluated their counterparts in 3rd battalion by giving them constructive feedback on their performance.
“This training is a pre-requisite for deployment and the Integrated Training Exercise held here at the [Combat Center],” Fallon said. “The only difference is that in this exercise we are evaluated at a more internal level by the regiment.”
The 10-day field exercise consisted of different missions spanning over several ranges aboard the Combat Center. The missions were similar to what a Marine Air-Ground Task Force could encounter while deployed.
“It was a good way to flex our muscles on certain things that we usually do, but this time we could execute it with all of the moving parts on a battalion level,” said Fallon.
3rd Battalion's Headquarters and Service Company set up a forward operating base and supported Companies I, K, and L through their runs of the ranges.
The three companies of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines conducted exercises that included a 20-kilometer movement-to-contact and dug-in a defensive posture with fighting holes. While there, the Marines were tested on their ability to set-up and react to both physical and chemical attacks.
A company-level helicopter assault on a Military Operation on Urbanized Terrain town was also conducted with the use of MV-22B ‘Osprey’ tilt-rotor aircraft.
In the following days, the unit also conducted a dry-fire rehearsal and live-fire offensive operation at the Morgan’s Well training area and the MOUT Town on Range 210.
At Range 210, Amphibious Assault Vehicles from Company D, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion and M1A1 Abrams Tanks from 1st Tank Battalion, Company B, supported each of the companies as they cleared objectives.
With the feedback given during MCREE, Marines of 3rd Bn., 7th Marines plan on improving their operational skills and maintain readiness for any type of task given to them, according to Fallon.
“The feedback 1/7 gave us is definitely of great value and will be implemented to make our Company and our Battalion be better prepared for what lies ahead,” said Fallon.