MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, California -- Marines with Company A, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, conducted amphibious operations training using Combat Rubber Raiding Crafts at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, April 22, 2016.
During this training, Marines applied reconnaissance and surveillance techniques in preparation for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Recon Marines also used this training to hone their ship-to-shore capabilities in order to maintain mission readiness.
“These amphibious missions, a lot of the time, are more complex than typical ground missions,” said Cpl. Raymond Buckley, a reconnaissance man with Co. A, 1st Recon Bn. “There’s a lot more that can go wrong out there. Most times when things go wrong, we adjust while on the move. So being good at and understanding the basic concepts is key.”
After testing out the CRRC’s top speeds and checking all their gear, the Marines conducted beach surveys from designated positions in the water. There, they observed and reported information on the objective to their headquarters team. Buckley stated that rehearsing amphibious operations ahead of time dictates success in the future.
“Rehearsing is pretty much essential for any mission,” said Buckley. “If we didn’t practice and hone our craft as much as we do, then we wouldn’t be ready for anything real.”
Although Recon Marines are trained and capable of completing a wide range of objectives, this exercise catered to their primary unit mission; provide in-depth, ground and amphibious reconnaissance to the ground combat element.
“This is our bread and butter,” said Cpl. Luke Hummel, a reconnaissance man with Co. A, 1st Recon Bn. “In my experience, amphibious operations are what we do the most of. We have done this course and this particular training many times, but it’s good to get your feet wet.”
Hummel added that he takes more away from the training than just skill sets and techniques.
“It’s important to build that confidence when you train,” said Hummel. “The confidence to apply whatever you learn is just as important as what you are actually training on.”
Overall, Buckley and Hummel realize how essential it is for 1st Recon Bn. and the Marine Corps as a whole to have the capability to conduct a wide range of operations in any clime and place.
“Our contribution gives the commander an in-depth analysis so he knows what troops will get into,” said Buckley. “Having bodies go through without any intelligence on an area is setting up for failure. They send us through so we can get a closer look at terrain, which can change how we approach a mission or insert into that area.”
The company is slated to support the 11th MEU during their Western Pacific deployment in the near future. These Marines will continue to train at a high level in preparation for future deployments and operations.