26th MEU hones urban skills in the sand
Marine Corps News
Story Identification #: 200563123159
Story by Sgt. Roman Yurek
UDAIRI, Kuwait (June 1, 2005) -- Marines from Battalion Landing Team 2nd Bn., 8th Marines, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), conducted urban warfare live-fire training recently at the military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) facility at Udairi Range, Kuwait.
The Marines went through the three-phase course to sharpen their urban warfare tactics and receive up-to-date training on the ever-changing scenarios troops are facing in the War on Terror.
The platoon commander for 2nd Platoon, Echo Company, BLT 2/8, 1st Lt. Joshua Rosales, told his Marines to remain flexible with the changes because the procedures for urban warfare were not written by someone behind a desk, but “by the blood of those who have gone out and done this in combat,” he said.
After drawing ammunition, the Marines began by going through a simple scenario and built up to the final more complex stage. All the stages relied on the effectiveness of small unit leadership from the fire team and squad leaders.
During the first stage, Marines refined their detailed procedures for room searching like checking corners as they entered a room. Each Marine was given two targets to take down in the room with two shots to the chest and one to the head.
Upon completion, they moved as a fire team to the second stage that consisted of clearing two buildings with multiple rooms and obstructed views.
The final stage again brought small unit leadership to the forefront of the exercise. Here an entire squad had to clear three buildings including one that was two stories.
For the final stage, many of the squads set up suppressive fire on a nearby hill looking over all three buildings. The M249 squad automatic weapons (SAWs) fired “talking guns,” which is where two guns alternate firing short bursts on the target from separate locations.
As the SAWs fired, a fire team would move up. Once they ceased firing, the two teams would clear the first building. Before moving on, one team remained on security as the first team moved to clear the second building.
“As soon as that’s clear, we’re going to pick up all our forces and move into the two story building and clear it, objective clear,” said Cpl. Christopher Roberts, a fire team leader with 2nd Platoon, just before his squad cleared the three buildings.
The squads conducted the final part of the course during daylight and nighttime hours. With the training complete, the Marine conducted small arms fire before heading back the base camp.
The MEU will continue training at Udairi Range until mid June when the Marines and Sailors will backload on the ships of the Kearsarge Strike Group and continue its mission as the theater reserve for Central Command and continue preparation for future operations.
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