MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The morning started with an honest assessment – the squad of Marines were faced right out the gate with executing a full mission under the watchful eyes of their new instructors. Every inefficiency, every uncertain expression added to the overall picture of their readiness – the team had a good base with room to improve.
The Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s law enforcement detachment spent the next several hours holding classes, going through drills and conducting rehearsals in urban patrolling and close quarters battle, partnered up with an element of critical skills operators from Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command.
“The first thing we did was run them through a full mission profile, doing urban movement and clearing an objective building. Once inside, watching their CQB techniques gave us our baseline for them for where we would tailor our training the rest of the day,” said the MARSOC element leader.
Throughout the day, the two groups of Marines built on the previous lessons as the Marine Raiders coached their notional partner nation force through the finer points of moving in an urban environment, assessing threats and methodically clearing buildings. Though there were noticeable differences, the commonalities between Marines working together were unmistakable.
“I’ve trained with infantry battalions on the last MEU. I’ve trained with SEAL Team Four and the Maritime Raid Force as well. Everyone has their own tactics and terms – but those are more tools to put in our toolbox,” said Sgt. Derek Busby, law enforcement detachment non-commissioned officer in charge.
The Raiders highlighted bounding security when crossing linear danger features, thorough clearing of rooms while providing security for search teams and several different methods for complicated interior movements such as clearing up a staircase. These particular skills would enhance the detachment’s efficiency and would improve their survivability in a hostile urban environment.
“Everyone has their own [standard operating procedures] and terminology. All we had to do was see how it was presented and then we were able to relate it to our SOPs and it made it a whole lot easier for the Marines that attended today,” said Busby.
The MARSOC operators agreed, citing terminology barriers and different basic skills training standards as stark differences when training actual foreign forces. For the special operations Marines, the opportunity to coach and mentor other professionals was a welcome repetition before advising and assisting an allied force in unfamiliar terrain later.
“This got our junior guys on the team a chance to train a partner nation. It allowed them to get up in front of the podium and start giving instruction to an audience – an audience that is a peer of theirs that they could see so it’s a little more difficult for them,” said the element leader.
The group wrapped up day one of their training by conducting two final patrols through the urban training facility; once with prompts from the Raiders and finally with them serving as an aggressor force hidden within the objective buildings. A group after action debrief captured lessons learned and identified areas for improvement ahead of their night-time heliborne raid the next evening.
“When it came to training with MARSOC, we were all excited and we got some really good training today. We learned advanced techniques and CQB tactics which we plan on bringing into our training and passing back to our parent unit when we are done, said Busby. “I hope my team realized that looking at them and looking at us, it’s one family teaching another. The skills we were taught today we can bring back to our own toolbox and pass down to the younger generation.”
Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command is the Marine Corps’ service component of U.S. Special Operations Command and provides highly trained full-spectrum special operations forces in support of overseas missions around the world.