June 19, 2015 --
Sprawled out in an open clearing bordered by a deciduous forest, stand the grey, cement buildings that make up Marine Corps Base Quantico’s military operations in urban terrain, training facility. On June 17, 2015 more than 100 Marines from Company B, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., traveled to the Quantico, Va. MOUT town to refine their individual actions in an urban environment.
“The training is focused on 1000-level training and readiness tasks [to include] making lower level entry into a compound and room clearing using proper techniques and procedures,” said Capt. David Moon, 3rd platoon commander, B. Co, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. “With the complexity of today’s operating environment and the growth in large urban hubs this is the focus for the future. Although there is still importance on conventional warfare, a lot of the wars are fought in the urban environment.”
Before going out to the training area, the Marines diligently prepared, between ceremonial commitments, both in the classroom and practicing basic fundamentals in “tape houses” – foundations of buildings outlined in tape on the ground.
With the classrooms and figurative buildings left behind at the Barracks, the Marines began their training by splitting up into sections and dispersing into groups throughout the MOUT compound.
In buddy pairs Marines practiced clearing rooms. The team lined up outside the door while a supporting team provided cover before breaching the door.
After the breach, the first team entered the building clearing the room. Once the room was secured, that buddy pair called “support up” signaling the second buddy pair to enter and enabling the Marines to continue clearing the rest of the building.
This training is beneficial because it is more realistic than using improvised tape houses, said Lance Cpl. Dylan Hopkins-Taylor, 1st platoon, B. Co., MBW, native of Dayton, Nev. Today highlighted the importance of communication. Without good communication everything is more difficult.
The Marines repeated the training cycle throughout the day, refining individual actions, before training as fire teams and finally squads.
We have to stay on our toes because we don’t know what to expect inside the buildings, said Lance Cpl. Jonathan Delgado, 2nd platoon, B. Co., MBW, native of Las Vegas. This training is important because we have to know how to work with our squads as a team.
The Marines of B Co. will continue to build on the fundamentals practiced during this MOUT training exercise, setting the conditions for future, more advanced training using simulated ammunition.
The training is set up focusing on individual and small unit tasks, said Moon. From there, the Marines will eventually be performing as a platoon, where everyone is moving toward an objective, having to shoot, move and communicate effectively. All of this goes back to brilliance at the basics.