U.S. Marines Conduct Training Raid
"Marines are America's '911 force,'" said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Eric Steidl, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit commander, as he stood atop an overlook patiently waiting for the Marines from the Battalion Landing Team 22nd MEU to begin their assault on the objective.
On this day, the Battalion Landing Team's training objective was to conduct a raid in an area containing a simulated improvised explosive device factory, while collecting as much information as possible from opposing forces.
"We needed to ensure the tactical site exploitation conducted on scene was thorough," said U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant William Peek, 3rd Platoon commander.
U.S. Marines have been the nation's premier response force whenever they are called upon, said Steidl. Their training keeps them sharp, as evidenced by the simulated mission Steidl oversaw from his hilltop vantage point.
"We do this type of training to make sure that at a moment's notice, when the commander calls us, we can execute a near flawless plan," said U.S. Marine Corps Captain Justin Bellman, raid force commander.
Being able to react quickly and hit objectives in situations comes with endless training, said U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Douglas Smith, radio operator. Eventually, everything the Marines are taught becomes muscle memory.
"It's stuck in your brain," said Smith. "It's almost like brushing your teeth every day. You just do it."
The constant training not only becomes automatic, but it improves the Marines' abilities to anticipate orders, said U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Roger Walker, explosive ordnance disposal technician.
"You need to know what to do and when to do it without being told," said Walker. "As we were assaulting the objective, very few commands were given."
Fewer commands allow for improved mission success rates, said Bellman.
"We can overwhelm the enemy, we can destroy everything that's on the objective," he said. "We can also quickly withdraw back to the ship without leaving a trace that we were here."
"This raid was not an easy task by any stretch," Steidl said. "But I have no doubt the Marines will always execute with speed and precision."