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In the Air, on Land and Streams; 3/7 Hones Water Crossing Skills

MARINE CORPS MOUNTAIN WARFARE TRAINING CENTER BRIDGEPORT, Calif. – Marines and Sailors from Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, returned to their amphibious roots during a stream crossing training exercise at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport, Calif., Leavitt Training Area Aug. 20.



Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms
Story by Cpl. Robert Kyle
Date: 08.28.2009

The exercise focused on moving fire teams across streams and rivers as safely as possible.

"These Marines are being afforded the opportunity to gain the confidence and ability to do something they've never done before as a unit," said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Miller, a mountain warfare training instructor with the Unit Training Group. "This training is not the end-all, be-all by any means. It gives them the basic knowledge they need for getting across the water safely."

The company hiked nearly four miles through hills and ridges to get to the training area, and for some, the water was welcomed with open arms.

"They set up the training schedule just right," said Lance Cpl. Randy Devore, a rifleman with Company K, 3/7. "The water was a perfect way to cool down after that hike."

During the class, Miller demonstrated different techniques to use when crossing rivers and streams such as using sticks to determine the depth of the water and for support.

He said these lessons can save lives at home and overseas.

"There were two Marines in Iraq that, for some reason, decided to cross the Euphrates River in full combat [personal protective equipment]," said Miller, a Chalmette, La., native. "One Marine was swept down the river and survived, and the other Marine got stuck about knee-deep in the mud right where he jumped in and drowned. He was still clutching his rifle when they found him."

Devore, a Cherry Point, N.C., native, said he took a lot away from the exercise.

"I think this training will make for better teamwork in general," said Devore. "We've been doing a lot of platoon-sized training exercises, so getting to train at the fire team level was nice."