Rain or shine, BLT 2/1 Marines train for upcoming deployment

27 Jun 2005 | Cpl. Andy Hurt

The old saying goes: "If it ain't raining, we ain't training." It seemed Fox Company Marines probably weren't watching the weather.Marines from 2nd Platoon, F Co., BLT 2/1, took an opportunity June 17 to brush up their urban warfare skills at the Joint Forces Reserve Training Center in Los Alamitos, Calif., during a break in the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Special Operations Capable Exercise. Second Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment Marines will serve as the Ground Combat Element for the MEU’s upcoming Western Pacific deployment. After the debris from the embassy reinforcement exercise was cleared, and the role-playing protestors returned to their Marine duties, the scene at the “U.S. Embassy” quieted down considerably. No longer could cries of “go home!” and “why are you here?” be heard, and there were no large crowds on the premises. All the Marines had left to accomplish was the wait until busses brought them back to Camp Horno aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. But despite the sunny atmosphere, 2nd Platoon Marines decided to train. Setting up a rotating circuit of basic infantry tactic classrooms, the Marines reviewed subjects like close quarters battle, practiced hasty vehicle control checkpoints, and fired simulated weapons in a training room. Sergeant Kevin Keeley, 2nd squad leader from Black Duck, Minn., said the purpose of the refresher courses was to “hit all the wickets.” “We’ve got a lot of young guys in our company, so we’re just going through the motions and covering all areas,” he said. Keeley was observing a Vehicle Control Checkpoint (VCP) practical application session during his time of comment, and talked about how important it was for the inexperienced Marines to learn the seemingly basic procedures of checking vehicles for potential threats. “Well obviously there’s (car bombs), those are the real threat here,” said the Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran. In addition to schooling the platoon, Keeley also was assessing the capabilities of Marines with specialized training who were temporarily attached to the platoon. “We also talked with our snipers, because they usually aren’t with us for this, and we had a class from an (Explosive Ordinates Disposal) Marine.” Lance Cpl. Charlie Koczan, a mortarmen with Fox Co., was taking part in the training and said that based on his experience, the time was well spent. So as the old saying goes -- “If it ain’t raining, we ain’t training” -- Fox Company Marines are defying the sarcastic cliché. By seizing the day and reiterating urban warfare doctrine, Fox Company is taking the 13th MEU (Special Operations Capable) to the next level of operational readiness. For more information about the Warriors of BLT 2/1 and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), visit the Unit's Web site at www.usmc.mil/13thmeu
13th Marine Expeditionary Unit