MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines with Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, honed their skills during live-fire, platoon-reinforced attacks Oct. 26-30, 2015 at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
There are approximately 50 Marines and sailors assigned to a typical platoon, so during this evolution the unit also incorporated a machine gun section and a mortars section.
“To get to this point in training we went with the ‘crawl, walk, then run’ idea. Before this training we did a squad reinforced maneuver range to make sure our guys understood it at that level before moving up,” said 1st Lt. Mark Dela Pena, the 2nd platoon commander with the unit.
Being able to grasp the skills of working in an assault is a much needed skill for the Marines because of potential future operations and missions.
“This training is important because it helps us learn the platoon and squad standard operating procedures, as well as helping us figure out those points that we need to refine,” said Cpl. Cody S. Brown, a fire team leader with 1st Bn., 6th Marines.
Learning to operate together is especially important for the unit as they don’t have much experience together due to the newly added Marines within the unit and will soon be deploying with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, added Pena.
Working in a platoon-reinforced attack does not come naturally and poses problems for communication, therefore molding a stressful working environment.
“When we are going in the tree line, the breakdown of communication as far as which team belongs where or which squad is going to go first, seemed like it wasn’t going to work. But thankfully for our stellar leaders we just flowed into it and made it happen,” said Brown.
It is a good thing that the Marines have a better understanding of platoon-sized attacks because it helps them become better warriors and more effective fighters, added Brown.
The training does not only help the newer Marines but also teaches those in a leadership role how to be more proficient and tactically effective with their teams.
“What I took from this training was to better understand and communicate with the Marines and how to become a better leader,” said Brown.
The training proved to be a challenge, but was an integral step for the unit as they grow together and become more ready and reliable to carry out the Marine Corps mission.
“The training is going well. The guys are learning how to work with each other at the platoon level as well as with integrate assets,” said Pena. “And what I truly hope my Marines take from this training is that they build that implicit communication and that mutual trust between each other.”