BABADAG TRAINING AREA, Romania -- U.S. Marines with Black Sea Rotational Force 15.1 concluded their final week-long infantry tactics and live-fire range with Romanian marines at the Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 28 – July 3.
“We did raids and patrolling this week which culminated in a raid live-fire range. We supported the Romanians’ attack with our mortars, and we showed them how we would go down on an objective and capture the objective with our tactics,” said Staff Sgt. Dale Elbert, platoon sergeant with Golf Company, Black Sea Rotational Force, and native of St. Louis, Mo. “This was the first time the Romanians employed their machine guns like us - meaning separate from the maneuver element on a support by fire hill. They’ve done an excellent job.”
Each month U.S. Marines from Golf Company, Black Sea Rotational Force, and Romanian marines from the 307th Naval Infantry Battalion conducted weekly field exercises to share knowledge and apply it in real-life scenarios. Engagements like this are pivotal in fortifying the already close partnership BSRF has with Romanian forces.
“It’s been a pretty great experience getting to know them, talking to them and seeing what they do on a daily basis,” said Lance. Cpl. Kyle Guisto, infantry team leader with Black Sea Rotational Force and native of Thompson, Conn.
In March, the Marines focused on land navigation, individual marksmanship, offensive and defensive fundamentals, and led bilateral force-on-force patrolling and defensive engagements.
“The first time we trained with them, we were out here for about 10 days,” said Guisto. “We quickly realized we have similar maneuver-under-fire tactics and ways of doing things. That was pretty cool to me.”
In April, the Romanians integrated with the U.S. Marine platoons, and both nations shared their way of executing ambushes and squad-level attacks. Maintaining these strong relationships and refining combined tactics is essential for NATO allies and partners, especially with the increasing unrest in Eastern Europe.
“It’s been great engaging with the Romanians. We’ve taught them a lot of stuff and they’ve taught us a lot. We look forward to coming back again,” said Elbert.
Second Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment from Camp Lejeune comprises the current iteration of BSRF 15.1. U.S. Marines with 3rd Bn., 8th Marines will continue the legacy with the Romanian 307th Naval Infantry Brigade during BSRF 15.2 in the second-half of this year.