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Marine raiders storm Pendleton beach

27 Oct 2009 | Lance Cpl. Eugenio Montanez

Marines hit the beach for training in preparation for deployment with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Marines with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, conducted raids during a basic raiders course at Red Beach, Oct. 21.  The course consisted of day and night boat raids and a two-mile patrol to secure a town.

“The purpose of this training is to have everyone learn the basics of amphibious assaults because we are deploying with a Marine Expeditionary Unit soon,” said Sgt. Edward Corona, an assault section leader with Co. F.

The Marines lingered at sea waiting for the perfect moment to attack the mock enemies.

“We need to go in during the right wave to be unseen by any enemies on shore,” said Lance Cpl. Robert Moilanen, a coxswain with Co. F. “We are employed in these types of missions because we are a lot more discreet and silent than an amphibious assault vehicle.”

Many of the Marines weren’t sure what to expect until the training was underway, said Corona.

“At first my Marines didn’t want to be raiders, but as soon as we got out there and started hitting the waves they really liked it,” Corona said. “Also, these guys are from different platoons, but when they’re all in the same boat they do their jobs and come together to accomplish the mission.”

This was the first time the Marines who are currently with the company did this type of training.

“We started off as confused as anybody, but then afterward you see these guys getting the job done,” said Sgt. Sergio Rolon, an assault section leader with Co. F. “For a company (with mostly desert experience) we are doing pretty well.”

Marines said that this type of training creates camaraderie in its own unique way.

“When you’re out in that water, it’s really cold and all of us are completely wet, so it becomes shared misery and you’re not alone anymore,” Rolon said. “The same thing one guy is feeling during the mission, the whole company feels it too, so when you come back from a mission and feel tired, cold and beat up you look to the guy next to you and you laugh because you know everyone is the same.”

This training evolution was the company’s first of this type, but will not be their last in preparation for their deployment with the 31st MEU next year.