MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – August 31, 2015 — Marines with Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, participated in a ground combat operation during a field exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Aug. 25, 2015.
The Marines hiked to Tactical Landing Zone Swan, set up a defensive position and then assaulted a simulated village in preparation for their upcoming deployment with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response.
Once at TLZ Swan, they entered the tree line and dug fighting positions, encountering several obstacles such as a thick undergrowth of bushes, vines and many large tree roots. They defended their position by lying in their skirmishers trench, and firing their M16A4 service rifles.
“After holding our defensive position, we advanced towards [Military Operations in Urban Territory] town,” said Lance Cpl. Erik Inbody, a machine gunner and team leader with the unit. “Once we approached MOUT town, another unit had to defend themselves from our assault on the village.”
The goal was for the Marines to capture the town from an enemy and repel the force out of the village. Once enemy forces were driven out of the area, they established a defensive position within the town and prepared for an enemy counter-attack.
Marines honed their skills in clearing rooms, entering buildings, and moving towards contact with an enemy force while in an urban environment.
The simulated enemy retaliated and attempted to regain control of the village but was unsuccessful in their efforts. The Marines held their position in the village and were able to conquer the enemy.
Marines use these realistic training munitions to prepare for combat situations. They’re taught to fight in more complex areas where more advanced techniques and tactics are required.
“The goal of this training is teaching each other and becoming more proficient at performing military operations,” said Inbody. “The newer Marines have been practicing this training for a while, now they are applying their skills in this [field exercise].”
The FEX offered Marines the opportunity to train in both an urban and woodland environment, allowing Marines to effectively engage enemy forces.
“This training is going to make us a stronger battalion because of the experience we gain,” said 1st Lt. Phillip D. Jones, the executive officer of the unit. “This benefits the Corps because this kind of training helps ensure that more Marines come home to their friends and families.”