1st Recon Battalion retraces techniques before returning to Iraq
Marine Corps News
Story Identification #: 2005512165642
Story by Lance Cpl. Daniel J. Redding
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (April 22, 2005) -- There are "100 different ways to skin a cat" -- or to get the jump on insurgents -- says Gunnery Sgt. Daniel J. Griego.
So Company B, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, is refining various warfare approaches and techniques for an upcoming deployment to Iraq.
Last time around in the embattled Al Anbar Province, the unit studied the enemy daily. It was critical to learn what the insurgents were doing and how they were adapting to their U.S. Marine adversaries, said Griego, operations chief and acting platoon sergeant for 2nd Platoon.
"The bad guys didn't know what to expect from us," Petty Officer 2nd Class Blair E. Dell, a special amphibious reconnaissance corpsman with 2nd Plt., said during training here April 19-22 in which Company B Marines traversed the local countryside on Humvees.
"This is a part of a much bigger training package that the battalion is going through prior to deployment," said 1st Lt. Robert M. Young, commander of 2nd Platoon.
The training between now and their slated departure this fall will include amphibious assaults, close-quarter battles and a combined-arms exercise at Twentynine Palms, Young said.
Most of the 2-1/2-day regimen focused on mounted patrols -- the company's bread and butter in Iraq. Some Marines estimated vehicle patrols amounted to 90 percent of the company's mission last deployment.
The patrol training is designed to make sure the primary product doesn't get stale, since the company expects much of the same next time around.
"We've done them in the past, and they are still going on," Young said.
Moreover, it's a chance to teach new Marines the tricks of the trade and pass on lessons learned last time.
"The training regimen is set up to start at the most basic skills and build up to where we are doing battalion operations," Young said.
For Griego, interaction between fresh Marines and veterans within the unit is most important during training.
"The greatest aspect for me is being able to share the proper ways to execute these missions," he said, referring to eight different scenarios conducted by the three platoons taking part.
When school is in session, Griego tries to impart the following mind-set:
"Every time you go out ... someone is trying to kill you."
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