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2/4 Marines MOUT up

26 Feb 2009 | Lance Cpl. John McCall

Marines from Company E, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regi­ment participated in military opera­tions in urban terrain training at a MOUT town here.

The Marines sharpened their ur­ban warfare skills and tactics dur­ing a four-day exercise where they learned fundamental skills of move­ment inside and outside of buildings, breaching techniques and clearing rooms.

“They’re learning all the impor­tant things Marines need to know to succeed in close quarters com­bat like room clearing and cross­ing danger zones,” said Lance Cpl. Theodore Dlouhy, a mortarman with 2nd Bn., 4th Marines. “We’re trying to show them how to be more fluent in actions like firing maneuvers and buddy rushing.”

Marines went through the town first with their individual squads then worked their way up to full platoons and finally patrolled as an entire company.

“We started out in squads first to tighten each other up then patrolled with platoons and the entire com­pany allowing the Marines to get an idea of how to move in different size groups,” said Dlouhy, a graduate of the urban assault leader’s course. “We make use of the time we have, we want to take advantage of this training and practice as much as we can while were out here.”

Armed with blank rounds, squads were assigned specific buildings to clear using the techniques they had been practicing days before.

“Even though they’re just blanks, you still have to stay in a combat mindset and treat each situation as if it were real when you go through these buildings,” Dlouhy said.

Marines found the training helped them become more efficient when patrolling in an urban environment.

“This training is very useful and realistic, it really gets you into a combat mindset,” said Lance Cpl. Alexander Hitchings, a mortarman with 2nd Bn., 4th Marines. “MOUT is a skill that you have to constantly maintain, the more you do it the bet­ter you get at it until your like liquid and you can just flow through it.”

Marines said repeating these mock patrols and urban assaults proved to be valuable for muscle memory.

“We practice until its like second nature to us so that when were really in a combat situation, we don’t have to think about it we can just act,” Hitchings said.