"B" Co sharpens killer instinct

28 Sep 2004 | Pfc. Aaron K. Clark

The enemy has cut off supply lines at a critical junction. They have no fire support, which leaves a hole in their defense. It is up to your squad to lay down supporting fire. What do you do?This is exactly what the Marines of “B” Company had to figure out while on a two-day training exercise at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.During the training exercise the Marines learned to tactically maneuver through several obstacle courses. The rope bridges, barbed wire enemy emplacements and trails through freezing water up to their chests brought mud and grime to every nook and cranny of their bodies. “The water took my breath away. It definitely slowed me down because it was an obstacle in itself,” said Lance Cpl. Jeremy T. Mallard, rifleman, 2nd Platoon.After completing the obstacles usually undertaken by officer candidates, the Marines spent a night in the cold Virginia woods. “I alternated between freezing and suffocating in my gortex last night,” said Lance Cpl. Jesse H. Duncan, a fire team leader for 2nd Platoon. “It was tolerable in the sleeping bag, but once you got out it was freezing.” The second day of the exercise involved the attack on the enemy with live fire, squad maneuvers and formations, preparing these Marines for hot zones like Iraq or Afghanistan. “It was a good way to practice moving together and covering each other. It keeps us capable of working as a squad,” said Cpl. Nicholas Boire, 1st squad leader, 2nd Platoon.Many of the Marines will be seeing these combat zones as their two-year tours here at 8th & I come to a close. Some will be moving on to units at Marine Corps bases currently prepping for deployment. “I ‘m going to the fleet next month and looking forward to joining my comrades in Iraq and doing my part,” said Cpl. Joe M. Abasciano, 1st squad leader, 1st platoon.While the simulated enemy put out great effort, the Marines of “B” Company overcame, reinforcing their combat mindsets.“If you don’t visualize in your mind the enemy is out there and real, you won’t survive. It’s very similar to actual combat. Overall we accomplish imparting in them the combat mindset,” said Gunnery Sgt. Peter W. Ferral, company gunnery sergeant for “B” Company.So whether the enemy is simulated now or not, preparing these Marines for combat will make them successful against any possible enemy or threat.