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Combat Town tests LAR Marines’ readiness

4 Sep 2013 | Lance Cpl. Brandon Suhr

OKINAWA, Japan - Marines pride themselves in their role as a force in readiness, a role that demands continuous training and a drive for operational excellence.

Marines with Combat Assault Battalion demonstrated their commitment to maintaining their edge as a force in readiness Aug. 12-15 during platoon-level military operations in urban terrain and counterinsurgency operations training at Combat Town in the Central Training Area.

The Marines are with Weapons Platoon, Company D, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, currently assigned to LAR Company, CAB, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program.

“This is the first time we have conducted MOUT training in (a counterinsurgency) scenario as a platoon, but I believe we showed that we were capable of accomplishing the mission,” said Staff Sgt. Mateo V. Camargo, the platoon sergeant. “This gets the Marines prepared for any contingency they could face in a MOUT environment or any potential threats we feel could occur in future operations.”

Counterinsurgency operations are mission essential during deployments where insurgencies could threaten to erode the stability of the region.

“At first, there were a few rocky points we had to (adjust) in our use of operational tactics, causing us to go through the town twice,” said Cpl. Ryan A. Gardner, a squad leader with the platoon. “The first run shook the cobwebs off, and when we went through the second time, we did significantly better.”

The Marines used special effects small arms marking system rounds to provide them with a training evolution that realistically simulated possible contingency operations.

The Marines took turns playing the role of insurgents and civilians during the training evolution to add the final touch of realism, according to McCartney.

“The value of this training is exposing the Marines to challenging environments they could encounter in the future,” said 2nd Lt. Charles M. McCartney, the platoon commander. “It’s good to get the Marines out here and give them a taste of what it’s like to operate in those environments.”

Maintaining readiness across the entire spectrum of warfare is especially important to the Okinawa-based Marines because the Asia-Pacific is a complex operating environment with continuously changing security threats, according to McCartney.

“The biggest thing is preparation,” said McCartney. “These Marines can get called on to do a variety of different missions, and many of those missions require operating in an urban environment, so this gives them the necessary exposure to (successfully complete those types of missions).”

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