Assault course prepares recon Marines to go deep

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Assault course prepares recon Marines to go deep


MCB Camp Butler

Computed Name: Lance Cpl. Richard Blumenstein
CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan(Aug. 16, 2007) -- Shooting in both day and night while weighed down by a full combat load, reconnaissance men and explosive ordnance disposal technicians on Okinawa wrapped up the Dynamic Assault Course Aug. 6-10 to the sound of rounds firing, brass hitting the deck and doors exploding.

The five-week course on Camp Hansen began on July 9 and trained the Marines who will serve as the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Deep Reconnaissance Platoon.

“Once they graduate this course, they will be the 31st MEU’s primary source for raids,” said Staff Sgt. Mark Frease, a dynamic assault instructor with the III Marine Expeditionary Force’s Special Operations Training Group.

The course trains Marines to be proficient shooters in any environment and improves on their close-quarters battle skills to prepare them for reconnaissance operations, according to Staff Sgt. Jonathan D. White, a close-quarters battle instructor with SOTG.

The Marines were put to the test during the final week with six qualification drills and numerous live-action scenarios. During the scenarios, Marines encountered simulated enemy aggressors and addressed threats commonly encountered in urban operations, said Frease.

“They pretty much train for any scenario they could run into,” Frease said.

The course also emphasized target discrimination — the process of distinguishing between enemy aggressors, potential threats and civilians at a moment’s notice, Frease said.

The Marines applied techniques to the Dynamic Assault Course that they learned earlier this year during the Dynamic Entry Course. These included the use of explosive charges and mechanical methods to destroy obstacles such as doors and walls during raids.

“By inducing shock and surprise, they gain a tactical advantage prior to entering the objective,” White said.

During the live-action scenarios, the Marines used special-effect small arms marking system or SESMS rounds against role players during day and nighttime raids in the Central Training Area’s Combat Town. They also conducted live-fire exercises focusing on room clearing without role players.

“Each time they run through the house, it’s different,” Frease said. “We move furniture and block off hallways. It’s basically going to prepare the Marines to adapt to any environment.”
 

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