Photo Information

Marines with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, enter a fake village to conduct essential training at the Infantry Immersion Trainer at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 30, 2015. The training is designed to better prepare them for their upcoming deployment with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Logistical Command Element Africa. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Michael Dye/Released) 

Photo by Cpl. Michael Dye

1/8 conducts realistic training in preparation for SPMAGTF-LCE Africa deployment

7 Oct 2015 | Cpl. Michael Dye The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines and sailors with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, conducted scenario-based training at the Infantry Immersion Trainer in preparation for their upcoming deployment to Africa, aboard Camp Lejeune, Sept 28-Oct 1, 2015.

The Infantry Immersion Trainer is a scenario-based Military Operation in Urban Terrain training center. With actual buildings and walls built up, the warehouse is transformed into a life-like village similar to what a Marine would encounter in an African village.

“The training is being conducted to better train these Marines and sailors with embassy reinforcement and tactical recovery of personnel,” said Vince Soto, the Infantry Immersion Trainer site lead.

When the scenario started, the Marines entered a small entryway and met with role-players acting as a foreign army. The Marines made their way into the village after a few minutes of conversing, where they set up a safety perimeter and engaged the mock army with various classes and demonstrations on Marine Corps tactics.

“I think the training that the Marines are going through is priceless,” Soto said. “The feedback I get from the units that come through the IIT is that this training can’t be replicated by training anywhere else with such life-like scenarios.”

The IIT is just one way these Marines are able to better train and equip themselves with the skills needed for their upcoming deployment with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Logistical Command Element Africa.

“This is great training,” said 1st Lt. Justin Klein, a platoon commander with the unit. “[The unit] got a lot out of it. Working with interpreters and dealing with a military that does not speak the same language in a scenario-based training situation prior to arriving in country is a huge step in the right direction for us. This will allow us to better prepare and understand what we need to do and how we can interact with the military prior to us arriving.”

The training allowed the unit to understand what they can expect when they arrive in Africa.

“Another huge benefit we got from this training was [practicing] how to deal with key leader engagements,” Klein said.

The Marines said they walked away from the training with a better understanding of what to expect during their deployment and more confidence in their upcoming mission.

“The Marines did great,” Klein said. “I was most impressed with how well the Marines knew the individual skills they have been taught. We wanted to conduct an improvised explosive device-training lane to instruct the foreign military on things to look for when encountering IEDs. My guys were able to make mock IEDs and place them on the ground in very little time and executed the training in such a timely manner that I was really impressed.”