Marine Aviation Training Support Group 42 heads to the field to hone grunt skills
By 2nd Lt. Jacob Jones
| | May 04, 2012
NAVAL AIR STATION PENSACOLA, Fla. --
During their April drill weekend, March 31- April 1, the Marines of Marine Aviation Training Support Group 42 left the office and took to the field to complete a field training exercise.
This short field evolution used the resources available at Naval Air Station Pensacola, and started with a march from the home training center to the Leadership Reaction Course.
At the LRC, every Marine was given the opportunity to act as a fire team leader and attempt to complete multiple scenarios. Each fire team leader was given a short order and 15 minutes to brief their team and complete the mission.
Each mission varied, ranging from escaping a prisoner-of-war camp to evacuating a downed pilot. All the missions required teamwork, outside-the-box thinking, and communication from the fire teams.
Once the time limit was reached, the fire team was debriefed and graded on their performance. Upon completion of the LRC, the team moved to the bivouac site and conducted field classes and practical application.
MATSG-42 performed patrolling, land navigation, combat life saving, and water purification classes with organic personnel. These lessons were put into practice when the Marines were given a patrol mission. They practiced slow movement, short security halts, and various formations.
Midway through their patrol they were ambushed by a fire team minus-sized enemy. Performing their immediate action drills, they gained fire superiority, came on line, and rushed through the objective. Once the attack was complete, the corpsmen assessed casualties and had the Marines perform proper combat life saving techniques. After practicing their life-saving skills, the Marines used litters to evacuate casualties over rough terrain.
At the evacuation site, the instructors conducted a short debrief and moved into the next evolution.
After splitting up into two teams, the Marines utilized their land navigation skills. Each team was given a compass, map, and four grid coordinates. At each coordinate, the Marines recovered a piece of equipment necessary for the final evolution: paintball squad attacks.
Both team’s last coordinate provided the location of their entry point into a paintball field where the exercise culminated with two squad attacks.
MATSG-42's leadership exploited their drill weekend to complete both staff requirements and a field exercise, demonstrating that every Marine is a rifleman, regardless of military occupational specialty.