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Recon shocks 'enemy' in training

27 Oct 2009 | Lance Cpl. Eugenio Montanez 1st Marine Division

Reconnaissance Marines with Company B, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, conducted live-fire ambushes and immediate action drills as part of their predeployment training at Range 800, Oct. 19.

The Marines completed a day-and-night reconnaissance patrol over four days, designed to induce exhaustion.

“These Marines have been up and patrolling for many hours over the last four days,” said Sgt. Kacey Butcher, a platoon sergeant with Co. B. “The reason we do this is so the Marines feel how tired they will be when doing these type of missions during deployment.”

The mission started off with the Marines setting up an ambush. Once they completed their ambush and left the area they were counter ambushed by “enemy insurgents.”

“Once ambushed, they have to either withdraw or attack the enemy force before the mission is finished,” said Gunnery Sgt. James Stahl, the operations chief for Co. B.

The reconnaissancemen successfully completed three non-fire runs and three live-fire runs in less time than scheduled and with no injuries.

“We have a fast-paced workup,” said Stahl.  “The expectations are more than being met, and exceeded a lot of times, with the Marines learning fast and safely.”

Recon Marines agreed training like this, when they spend a lot of time together, helps build camaraderie.

“It’s good to know the guys,” said Lance Cpl. Nick Bucy, an assistant radio operator with Co. B.  “I know that if something goes wrong, they’re watching my back like I watch theirs.”

The Marines also rotated their roles within the team to help spread their knowledge.

“We train the way we fight,” said Cpl. Michael Kempker, a point man with Co. B. “We try to make it as realistic as possible, but still keep it structured enough to where it’s safe.”

The younger Marines in the company have many resources to learn from, knowing that most of the senior Marines have deployed on various occasions.

“I take a lot from their deployment experience and how to react fast in a combat situation when something goes wrong,” said Kempker.

At the end of the training, the recon warriors said they mastered the ambushes and immediate action drills and will move on to more advance training for their deployment.

1st Marine Division