MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina -- Marines with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, conducted a week-long survivability field exercise aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 20-24, 2015, in order to maintain proficiency in their military occupational specialty as well as build camaraderie between the non-commissioned officers and new Marines to the unit.
“This is the third step in a long term training plan for survivability operations,” said 2nd Lt. Lora Thomerson, company commander for Bravo Company, and a Versailles, Ky., native. “We’re out here advancing the training phase up to a patrol base. We’re establishing a patrol base that would be designed for an [infantry] unit to take over following the completion of our construction.”
Sergeant Angelito Notarte, a platoon sergeant with 8th ESB and Houston native, said being MOS proficient is one of the reasons 8th ESB is conducting this operation.
“It’s always [maintaining] readiness when you have your combat engineers participate in their actual [military occupational specialty] and they’re building survivability bunkers, towers and things like that,” Notarte said. “As long as they’re always MOS proficient and they’re always training, they’ll always [be ready].”
Thomerson said during this field exercise the NCOs of the battalion took charge and passed down knowledge to their Marines.
“I’ve been most impressed with my NCO leadership. I’m the officer-in-charge, but my NCOs have been able to take the intent that’s given to them and execute without too much critique,” said Thomerson. “They’ve really stepped up their game and my squad leaders are really building their Marines from the ground up.”
The engineers learned how to build bunkers and hold security as well as other various aspects of being an engineer.
“I do have Marines who will get tasked out to do various missions, so my intent is to maintain all [training and readiness] standards until the time comes for a specific work up,” Thomerson said.
The battalion used this training to get their new Marines adjusted to the unit.
“We had new Marines who haven’t really done this in their MOS school so coming out here and getting direct hands on experience on a bigger scale is good, so I feel everything went very well,” Notarte said.