Photo Information

Marines from Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. practice boarding an MV-22B, Osprey, at Landing Zone Crane, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Sept. 14, 2015.The Marines spent four days training in Quantico before being extracted to Training Area, AP Hill, Va. where they will continue to hone their skills. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christian Varney/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Christian Varney

Culmination of Training, MBW Fire Team Leaders

29 Sep 2015 | Cpl. Christian Varney Marine Barracks

More than 65 infantry Marines from Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., partook in the Barracks’ first Fire Team Leader’s Course, Sept. 9 - 19, 2015.

The two-week long course began with a refresher on the Marine’s use of various weapons systems to include the AT-4 anti-tank rocket launcher, M-27 infantry automatic rifle, M-67 fragmentation grenade and M-203 grenade launcher.

The course continued with team and squad patrolling and concluded with a team attack: day, night, and supported. During the training the Marines honed and refined their land navigation skills, patrol base operations and use of combined arms, and they were exposed to helicopter operations.

“I hope the Marines take away the importance of rehearsing,” said Capt. Brian Lander, the assistant operations officer. “Rehearsals on the parade deck, which lead to successful ceremonies, directly translate to rehearsals of infantry tasks and their success in the fleet.”

The Marines that participated in the course are soon transitioning from the Barracks and into the Fleet Marine Force.

“These Marines will become fire team leaders in the operating forces,” said Lander. The course is designed to teach the Marines how to work as a team and develop the personality and discipline required for a small unit leader.

The first three days of the course were spent in the classroom focusing on reviewing nomenclature of the weapon systems, use of a compass and use of night-vision optics.

Upon arriving in Quantico, Va., the Marines conducted day and night battle-drills with the M-203 and the AT-4, a land navigation course and landing zone drills. After three nights in the field, the Marines loaded MV-22B Ospreys and moved to Fort AP Hill, Va. where the rest of the course resumed.

“That was the first time I have been on a helicopter,” said Lance Cpl. Clayton Kilgallon. “It was exhilarating, and it was a great experience.”

The second part of the course at Fort AP Hill focused on patrolling and patrol base operations. The Marines’ training focused on continuing operations, leading patrols and basic patrol-base operations.

“I really [took away] the importance of team work in a small unit,” said Kilgallon. “We were all striving to be the best we could be, and the only incentive was to be a more efficient team.”

The culminating event for the course was a team attack.  A squad of Marines provided suppression fire with ordinance and small arms fire while the other two squads flanked the objective. This included attacking fortified positions with rockets as well as support by fire enabling the forward element’s assault through the enemy.

“We really began to work as a team,” said Lance Cpl. Gregory Whitman. “By the end of the course, I understood how my team would react to problems. The communication was nonverbal.”