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Old 10-27-2003, 05:26 AM
thedrifter thedrifter is offline
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Cool Combat Assault Battalion exercise instills cohesion

Combat Assault Battalion exercise instills cohesion
Submitted by: MCB Camp Butler
Story Identification Number: 2003102344139
Story by Cpl. M. Stew Allen

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan (October 16, 2003) -- Assault Amphibious Vehicles swim with the tides; pushing inland where they'll unload their precious cargo of infantrymen on the beach like steel Trojan horses. Light Armored Vehicles scout the muddy terrain gathering information on forward areas, and CH-53E 'Super Stallion' Helicopters hover above landing zones waiting to refuel nearly two dozen mechanized vehicles.

While the description paints an image of a full-on assault, the purpose of these fast-paced maneuvers can be summarized in a word-training.

Combat Assault Battalion conducted a Field Training Exercise Oct. 14-16.

The intent of the battalion-sized exercise was to refine CAB's capability to operate as an individual cohesive force.

Since CAB frequently sends out detachments from the battalion to support other units, it's not often the battalion is given the opportunity to train as an individual cohesive entity.

"As companies, we all have our standard operating procedures, but in a potential conflict, it's possible that CAB could be operating as an individual force," said Capt. F.W. Rustmann, executive officer, LAR Company, CAB. "It's important that Light Armored Reconnaissance and AAV companies set up standard operating procedures together so we can work as a team."

The Marines of LAR Company took the lead during the FTX by gathering route and area reconnaissance of the training site on Camp Hansen. The information collected gave CAB the 'green light' to establish its Command Operating Center and Logistics Operating Center on site.

While the LAVs were scouting their position, Marines from AAV Company were strengthening their amphibious proficiency by "splashing" their AAVs into the ocean for a three-and-a-half-hour water march from the beach at Camp Schwab to Kin Blue Beach.

"We estimated it would take us about four to five hours to get to Kin Blue, so we were very impressed with how well are Marines performed when we made it in three-and-a-half hours," said 2nd Lt. Lynn M. Smith, 1st platoon commander, AAV Company, CAB.

Smith explained that one of the advantages of the FTX was not only to test out the vehicles abilities but the capabilities of his Marines as well.

"If you don't take these vehicles out and use them, you will never know what needs to be fixed. The same concept applies to your platoon. If you don't take your Marines out and test their abilities, then you can't find their weaknesses and fix them. We want to get some good training and make the best of this opportunity," Smith said.


SSgt. Roger A.
One Proud Marine
Once A Marine............Always A Marine.............
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