BUTLERVILLE, Ind. --
Marines with Force Headquarters Group, Marine Forces Reserve, conducted their annual training at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center and Camp Atterbury located in Indiana, June 8-19, 2016.
The two training grounds allowed Marines to participate in realistic training exercises that will prepare them for the future.
Marines with 4th Law Enforcement Battalion, 6th Communications Battalion, and 1st, 3rd and 4th Civil Affairs Group, utilized the unique capabilities of the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center. The training grounds consisted of simulated scenarios such as detainee and prison operations in an abandoned jail, patrolling techniques in an impoverished village, disaster relief in a flooded town and room clearing in a Military Operations Urban Terrain town.
“The ability to be here has allowed our Marines to train on a lot of things they wouldn’t have the ability to train on back home,” said Gunnery Sgt. Vince D. Reynolds, Support Company Gunnery Sergeant, 4th LEB. “This training environment is something we have never experienced before and it gives Marines the opportunity to explore a lot of different training scenarios.”
At Camp Atterbury, Marines with 3rd, 4th and 6th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, and Intelligence Support Battalion, utilized the training grounds to run through litter drills, close air support drills, fire mortars on the range and patrol a MOUT town while taking enemy fire and aiding to casualties.
“The support that Camp Atterbury has given us has been phenomenal,” said Staff Sgt. Theodore K. Pernal, a radio chief with 4th ANGLICO. “This is the first time we have ever done this and we are going to pursue it for at least the next two years. As long as we can get the support to bring the Marines here to Indiana once a year, then I think this will be something pretty amazing.”
Not only were the Marines developing skills essential to their specific jobs, but they also had the opportunity to cross train, which aims to make them more well-rounded and familiar with the different capabilities of other units.
“Force Headquarters Group has such a wide variety of skillsets and units and we wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to bring those units here and give them an opportunity to interact with and learn from each other,” said Lt. Col. Alan B. Miller, representative for Force Headquarters Group G-4, Marine Forces Reserves.
Marines gained knowledge not only from their peers, but also from general officers of the Afghan National Army and the Ministry of Defense Advisors Program who gave the Marines a class on what they do. The Evansville, Indiana, Special Weapons and Tactics Team also worked with Marines to demonstrate proper techniques for safely clearing a room.
“Another opportunity that the training center presents is there are so many different types of units that train here,” Miller said. “So depending on who is here when you are training, there are just opportunities are without limits.”
The training also provided Marines with the ability to interact and learn from their senior leadership, which is not something that Reserve Marines get the chance to do on a daily basis. This allowed them to learn from their mentors and how to take on leadership rolls of their own.
“Being a junior Marine, it helps being around the higher ranks,” said Lance Cpl. Chelsie B. Hicks, administrative clerk with 4th CAG. “You learn how to give briefs, your job and how to project your voice so you are heard.”
The training of becoming more comfortable with leadership and more familiar with job skillsets is important for situations that may come up in the future for the Marines. Knowing how to perform their job duties in the most stressful situations is the reason why such realistic training is conducted.
“You never know when you are going to get deployed and when you will get these experiences,” Hicks said. “You take it seriously, and when you go out there to Afghanistan or Iraq, you are going to have confidence in what you do and have trust in your higher ranks.”
The newly acquired knowledge and skills the Marines gained from this annual training will greatly benefit them in the future and will ensure missions will be accomplished effectively.