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Lance Cpl. Cody Conlon, a fireteam leader with 2nd Marine Regiment, watches Marines with his unit set up defenses from his fighting position during a battalion deployment for training exercise aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 16, 2015. The defensive training took place during a nine-day deployment for training exercise designed to prepare for a variety of combat scenarios, including defensive, offensive, and urban operations.

Photo by Cpl. Sullivan Laramie

Best defense: ‘Warlords’ prepare to hold line

22 Sep 2015 | Cpl. Sullivan Laramie The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment conducted defensive operation drills to prepare for possible enemy assaults with a variety of weapons, equipment and fortifications during a deployment for training exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Sept. 15 and 16, 2015. 

“We’re in our defensive positions waiting for enemy contact,” said Cpl. Jacob Powers, a section leader with the unit. “We have our rifles, but we also use explosive charges as another obstacle in the enemy’s way. Our mission is to prevent the enemy from overrunning our lines.”

Marines going through the School of Infantry, whether it’s the Infantry Training Battalion or Marine Combat Training, learn about standard defenses. They learn how to use entrenching tools to dig fighting positions, concealment and cover to avoid being seen, and protecting themselves against enemy fire.

This exercise expanded on those basic skills to provide the Marines with 2/2 stronger defensive techniques to utilize in combat when needed.

“Marines are trained to fight offensively, but we could always end up on the defense,” Powers said. “We have to be ready for anything, and that includes fighting where we are and not charging forward.”

The two days of defensive operations were part of a nine-day exercise that also included offensive and urban combat scenarios in a wide area of the base. Companies worked side by side for the duration of the exercise, adding to their defensive strength.

“I hope that the Marines hone their defensive and offensive combat skills and I know after this training they will work together well with the other parts of the battalion,” Powers said. “Working on these exercises and getting Marines out there, having small-unit leadership working within the larger plan, gets us more face-to-face time in the field with the commanders. Getting this training really helps with our company-level defenses and attacks, and tying that into the battalion really ensures our Marines are ready for action at a moment’s notice.”