MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina -- Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 2 participated in the unit’s final exercise for their non-lethal weapons training at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, March 25.
The final exercise was a riot control exercise that included an aggressive opposing force who would try to notionally attack, injure and steal from the Marines. Non-lethal weapons instructors, with the Expeditionary Operations Training Group, even escalated the reality of the training by forcing the Marines to operate while being misted with OC spray and under the distraction of loud siren noises in order to add an extra dimension of confusion.
“Today we conducted realistic riot control training in preparation for our upcoming deployment in case we have to conduct an actual evacuation of a control center or handle a protest as riot control,” said Gunnery Sgt. Shawn Fitzpatrick, the assistant team leader for the Evacuation Control Center Team.
EOTG raised the intensity and difficulty of the non-lethal training during the final exercise, months after the training initially began.
“EOTG has brought new elements into our training such as OC spray, tasers, new takedown techniques, and new riot control techniques,” said Fitzpatrick.
The intensity of the training proved itself challenging for the Marines.
“We definitely faced a plethora of challenges, but we just kept fighting through as a team and kept in mind that mission accomplishment is the most important mission in itself,” Fitzpatrick said.
The final exercise was also a qualification for the unit to be able to deploy on with the next rotation of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa.
Fitzpatrick explained the qualification requirements the Marines underwent, such as learning how to use the X26 TASER, feeling the effects of the stun-gun completing a non-lethal combatants course while under the effects of OC spray, passing three written tests, and executing a riot control weapon range.
“I feel as if our team had an outstanding performance,” Fitzpatrick said. “We completed all the missions we were assigned to and everyone really seemed to grasp a sense of understanding for what was expected of us and I feel like not only myself but the entire team is much more prepared, confident, and ready to go forward and handle possible situations that may arise.”