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31st MEU Battalion Landing Team Infantrymen teach urbanized combat course on Okinawa

CENTRAL TRAINING AREA, OKINAWA, Japan — Combat veterans with Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, conducted military operations on urbanized terrain training in Combat Town April 15 to share lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan with the unit’s junior Marines.


4/25/2008 By Lance Cpl. Tyler J. Hlavac, Marine Corps Base Camp Butler

More than 30 Marines from E Company and the Combat Engineer Platoon honed their combat tactics as they raided buildings and hunted for mock insurgents during the day-long training.

Throughout the course, the Marines responded to volatile situations such as ambushes and sniper fire while conducting security patrols, clearing buildings, handling detainees and dealing with local villagers.

All the scenarios were meant to reflect what the Marines could face if deployed to a combat zone. The scenarios were particularly valuable for the engineers, who do not always get as much combat t raining as their infantry counterparts, according to Cpl. Marcos Contreras, a squad leader from E Co.

“While in Iraq, I personally saw Marines from various non-infantry (military occupation specialties) conducting MOUT operations,” he said. “Even if grunts are the ones doing the main assault on a building, they still need Marines such as combat engineers providing security and additional forces if they get into trouble.”

The Marines utilized a special effect small arms marking system during the training. The system allows Marines to fire paint rounds from modified M-16A2 service rifles.

Being able to shoot and get shot by simulated rounds adds a sense of realism to the training that better prepares the Marines for a real firefight, said Contreras.

Lance Cpl. Kalan Klena, a combat engineer, said he and the other combat engineers initially had difficulty coordinating with each other, providing good all around security and assaulting well-protected enemy positions, but as they started communicating better, they quickly improved their techniques and were working well with each other by the end of the day.

“The whole experience was very enlightening for me,” Klena said. “I would like to conduct a lot more of this training in the future.”