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Homeland Security

4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Anti-terrorism) receives new training site


Story Identification Number: 200334112222
Story by Sgt. Chet Decker

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY NORFOLK NORTHWEST ANNEX, CHESAPEAKE, Va(Feb. 11, 2003) -- Douglas A. Munro would likely be both proud and pleased were he alive to see the dedication of a new non-lethal and civil disturbance training facility in his honor here.

Named the sole Coast Guardsman posthumously presented the Medal of Honor for his harrowing rescue of Marines at Guadalcanal, Munro Village will be used primarily by anti-terrorism forces of Marine Corps Security Force Battalion (MCSFBN), the Coast Guard and Navy. Munro Village, a small urban facility, offers Marines more realistic training right in their own backyard. "Northwest" is the top training ground for Norfolk's 1st Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST) Company and Yorktown's 2nd FAST Company. It's also where the two companies' Marines receive their entry-level anti-terrorism training, which includes crowd control and civil disturbance training

"Before we'd just simulate a gate and buildings, but now we can train with the real thing," said Staff Sgt. Rojelio Garza, an instructor with MCSFBN's Training Company. "Now role players can jump into buildings. It adds a large element of realism for the Marines training."

Fourth Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Anti-terrorism) Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Douglas O'Dell said Munro Village will mutually benefit both services for a long time.

"Right now the Coast Guard and the Marine Corps are working more closely on maritime security than anytime since World War II," said O'Dell, adding that it's likely the facility will be used for at least a generation.

The dedication included a live demonstration of riot control maneuvers by MCSFBN Marines. It also included a demonstration of a non-lethal shotgun that fired beanbag rounds. O'Dell, wearing one of the Marine Corps' more dressy uniforms (service alphas) tested the range himself and even advanced while engaging the targets.

Munro personally saved numerous Marines from certain death at Guadalcanal on Sept. 27, 1942. Munro volunteered to lead five Higgins boats under heavy fire to evacuate 500 Marines. Before being mortally wounded by enemy fire, he drew fire away from other boats loaded with Marines by placing his craft with its two small guns as a shield between the Marines and the Japanese.

"As he was dying he asked, 'Did the Marines get off,'" said Director, U. S. Navy Command Center and Counter Drug Division, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Jeffrey J. Hathaway, the guest speaker at the dedication. "Then he closed his eyes, and that was it. He'll always be watching over the folks that are training here."

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