Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
Marines with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine
Division conducted Military Operations on Urban Terrain, or MOUT, training
aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 6-10, 2015.
training included Marines going out in squad sized elements to attack an
objective being held by Marines in a defensive position after the squad leaders
built terrain models and informed their Marines on avenues of approach and tasks.
main purpose of this training is to essentially sharpen our skills as squads,
and to utilize the other portion of our [military occupational specialty] which
is provisional infantry,” said Staff Sgt. Travis Payne, a platoon sergeant with
2nd CEB. “Being able to employ our engineers and to use our Marines in those
tactics makes them much more of an asset to 2nd Marine Division.”
James Davidson, a squad leader with the unit, said that the training is
important for both the offensive and defensive elements.
practice setting up the defense and at the same time you get to see how your
fellow squad leaders decide to attack. It helps you set up a more effective
defense and helps you think outside the box instead of just seeing the small
picture of what you’re doing,” Davidson said.
also said that the training is focused more at the small unit level and a lot
of the decisions are left to the squad leaders to take charge of their given
pushing our squads out to build that small unit leadership, relying on our
squad leaders to be able to utilize their squads in offensive and defensive,
engineer and reconnaissance missions," said Payne. "It not only gives that [non-commissioned
officer] the opportunity to lead his squad but also gives the junior Marines
[the opportunity] to get extensive training beyond demolition training."
Davidson and Payne agree that conducting MOUT training helps maintain readiness
within their unit for future missions.
this [training] will help [us] stay warmed up on combat tactics and how you can
employ your defensive ability for another unit when you get attached to them,”
said Davidson. “It keeps us in the mind set of being combat engineers instead
of becoming complacent.”
instances Marines have been pinned down and have to have a stronghold whether
it be one building or a compound," said Payne. "They have to utilize their management skills
for food, water and ammunition. It gives the squad leader a very good [idea]
that this really relies on him and his management skills to keep his Marines
alive in the fight."
also said that coming out into a field environment not only helps his Marines
maintain a combat-ready mindset, but helps promote strong unit cohesion amongst
his Marines as well.
Marines out in the field [at all] builds that cohesion, and to bring them out
in this environment where they have to rely on one another for survival in
these [notional] scenarios, at the end of the day, it’s invaluable,” said
Payne. “To see their camaraderie and morale…I wouldn’t ask for anything more as
a platoon sergeant.”