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Marines serving with Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, talk to a role-player portraying a possible enemy threat during tactical sight exploitation training here, Sept. 11, 2013. After securing the perimeter, the Marines gained entry into the role-player's house and searched it for weapons and intelligence. The training was designed to prepare the Marines for their upcoming deployment with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Photo by Cpl. James Gulliver

Tactical sight exploitation training prepares Marines for deployment

16 Sep 2013 | Cpl. James Gulliver

When intelligence analysts are brought to the battlefield their primary mission is to uncover enemy threats whether it is through the seizure of weapons, or the discovery of enemy intelligence.

Marine intelligence analysts with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, conducted tactical sight exploitation training to refine their search and seizure skills here, Sept. 11.

“If we’re conducting a night raid while we are deployed and come across a house that we need to search, we learn the basic tactics and techniques for accomplishing that here,” said Cpl. Michael Ripley, an intelligence analysts with 3rd Bn., 5th Marines. “This training plays a crucial role in our job proficiency.”

The Marines started by patrolling to their objective and interacting with the role-players portraying possible enemy insurgents. They needed to determine if the locals were a theat.

“First we will call the owner out of the house, then we will do an initial walkthrough with him,” said Ripley, a native of Argenta, Ill., “Then we will take him outside and question him to see what he knows.”

After securing the perimeter of the house the Marines systematically searched the entire house looking for weapons or valuable information.

“This training gives us the ability to go through buildings and make sure they are not using them for drug caches, or weapons caches,” said Lance Cpl. Keith Barnett, an intelligence analysts with 3rd Bn., 5th Marines. “This makes us more proficient in searching rooms and buildings increasing our odds of finding something dangerous.”

If the Marines discovered a weapon they photographed the evidence before moving it to a secure locations.

“It’s important we photograph whatever evidence is discovered,” said Barnett, a native of Bellflower, Calif. “If we try to prosecute the owner we need to make sure we have enough evidence to convict him.”

The Marines had to become proficient enough to teach what they learned to the infantry serving with the battalion.

“The infantry Marines need to know how be able to do this as well because we will be out patrolling with them,” Ripley said. 

The completion of TSE was a crucial part of the Marines training in preparation for their upcoming deployment with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, where they might encounter similar situations.

“If we do encounter situations like this while with the MEU this will make sure we are ready for them, ” Ripley said. “This is a necessary skill for our Marines to have, especially on deployment.”

The Marines gained more experience throughout the training event, and became more proficient in searching the compounds and dealing with the role-players, Barnett said.