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Afghanistan-bound Battalion conducts vehicle assault

16 Mar 2009 | Lance Cpl. John McCall

Marines with Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment participated in a vehicle supported assault here Mar. 16.

Marines assaulted a mock city as a platoon with protection firing support from M1A1 Abrams tanks and Amphibious Assault Vehicles.

“We integrated with tanks and AAVs,” said Cpl. John Bounds, a squad leader with 1/5. “The vehicles gave us support by suppressing enemy fire so the Marines could make their way into town.”

As the tanks and AAVs laid down fire, Marines raided the town using urban assault tactics going from house to house.

 “We did a lot of room clearing,” said Bounds. “We practiced assaulting buildings as a platoon and moving through buildings in squads to complete the objective.”

The techniques may be old hat for these Marines but repeating these drills only makes the training more effective and the platoon more efficient in close quarter situations.

“It’s good practice for us, we’re improving as we go along,” said Lance Cpl. Jose Martinez, 21, a machine gunner with 1/5 from San Antonio.

 “It’s better to catch mistakes now so they can be fixed and you won’t have to worry about them later.” Practice moving with vehicles will prove to be

valuable training during a scheduled deployment to Afghanistan later this year.

 “I feel confident (in using these vehicles) and think they’ll be a great asset to us in Afghanistan,” said Bounds.

Having large and powerful vehicles on your side gives Marines a feeling of security and faith in their ability to complete the mission.

 “The more you work with them the more comfortable you get,” said Martinez.

 “After a while you can really depend on each other.”