MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER, TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
A newly reactivated Marine Corps Reserve light armored reconnaissance company put their skills to the test Feb. 1.
Delta Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, took on the Deliberate Assault Course on Range 210 here to prepare for the worst in Iraq.
D Co. is temporarily attached to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion for the battalion’s deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“[In] this course we learned how to improve our war fighting skills,” said Capt. Will
C. Lawton, commander of 3rd Platoon, D Co. “It also strengthens the Marines’ ‘killing’ instinct.”
D Co., the ‘Dragons,’ hasn’t been activated since OIF I in 2003. Almost three-quarters of the service members in the company have not deployed before, but said they are excited to go where they’re needed.
“There are a very small number of Marines activated from the reserves,” said Lance Cpl. Michael F. Campbell, a scout with 1st Plt., D Co. “The motivation is high for a lot of us because we all have lives outside of the Marine Corps and we have to make a lot of sacrifices to be in the position we are in.”
Campbell, a Catlett, Va., native, said the fact they are now activated, after so much time of inactivity, is exhilarating.
During the DAC training, the Marines engaged pop-up targets as they dismounted and squad-rushed a combat town. They were receiving simulated effective fire on their position until they cleared every building in the town.
A DAC helps small-unit leaders develop a plan of cooperation when engaging in ssaults. “Dragon” teamed up with Alpha Co., 2nd LAR, to participate in the exercise, developing inter-unit awareness for successful attacks.
“Forming that bond with my fellow Marines is very rewarding,” said Campbell. “But the most rewarding part is being able to be accepted to the active duty of LAR.”
The Marines are gearing up for the next level in preparation for their seven-month combat tour: the final exercise of Mojave Viper. 2nd LAR is slated to deploy this spring.
“We are the first [reserve LAR] company to go to Iraq in a long time as [part of] a LAR battalion,” said Cpl. Craig D. Oakley, fire direction chief of 2nd Plt., D Co.. “It’s a prideful experience to be able to serve my country in combat like I signed up for.”