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Sun and Sand is No Day at the Beach for 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit Golf 2/5

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080722-07
Release Date: 7/22/2008 6:44:00 AM

By Lance Cpl. Timothy T. Parish, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit Public Affairs

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait (NNS) -- The Marines and Sailors of Golf Company, Battalion Landing Team 2/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, took advantage of the wide-open desert training areas in northern Kuwait July 9 to send some rounds down range and further refine their combat readiness.

With limited opportunities to conduct live-fire exercises while deployed aboard USS Peleliu (LHA 5), the Marines and Sailors of Golf 2/5 welcomed the chance to burn up the desert air, according to Sgt. Marcus A. Wunderlich, first platoon guide, Golf Company.

"[The training] helps tremendously because, for one, it gets us out in a foreign country in extreme heat, and it's [ideal training] for the type of war we fight now days," Wunderlich said.

"We can only make ranges [so realistic] back in the States, but here it is pretty accurate to what these Marines may see down the road if we get called into country."

The Marines were eager to lock-and-load once again, according to Wunderlich.

"Being on land, being able to shoot live rounds, it's what we're all about. You don't want the Marines to get complacent and content. You can never train enough. Continuous remediation keeps [the Marines] sharp and on their toes, so they're always thinking about what they have to do and how their going to do it, so if they actually go into combat, it's still in the front of their minds."

To Staff Sgt. Kemp J. Miller, 1st platoon sergeant, Golf 2/5, the greatest advantage of training whenever possible is the warrior mindset developed during intense tactical exercises under realistic conditions.

"We train like we fight. [The Golf 2/5 Marines] understand that this is training, but at the same time they give 100 percent," said Miller. "They go out there and they give everything they have. The way I look at it, if we do the same thing if we go into country somewhere we will be able to protect each other and do well."

The lack of training opportunities while underway aboard Peleliu did not dull the ability of Golf Company's Marines and Sailors to build on their operational capabilities, according to 2nd Lt. Colin J. Kiernan, 1st platoon commander.

"Not only is this good training but it's a relief for the [Marines] to be off ship. It's good to get out here and throw some rounds down range," said Kiernan. "It's not like riding a bike where you learn it once and you're done. You have to constantly practice to stay at a high level of proficiency."

The training in Kuwait also helps Golf Company retain their finely tuned efficiency in the ability to accomplish any mission, according to Kiernan.

"We never know what fight we'll get into next. The last few years the Marine Corps has been focused on counter-insurgency and [military operations in urban terrain]," said Kiernan. "What we're practicing out here is almost exclusively the high kinetic, open terrain type of fighting."

The Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit is comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and Sailors and is a forward deployed force in readiness capable of conducting numerous operations, such as non-combatant evacuation operations, humanitarian assistance operations and a wide range of amphibious missions.

For more news from Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group, visit www.navy.mil/local/lha5/.



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