U.S. MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines in the
security element course posted 360 degrees of security on Nov. 6,
2014, waiting for the signal to move to their next position. This
raid would be the culmination of all of the training they had gone
through up to this point.
Quickly and silently, the Marines
split off in their respective teams and moved to their next point of
Once there, they communicated via radio to begin
the assault. Marines flowed through buildings, ensuring each one is
cleared of any insurgents or targets. Once they had full security
around their objective point, the raid force moved in to take out
the high-value target.
U.S. Marines with 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, apprehend a
suspect during a security element course aboard Camp Pendleton,
Calif., Nov. 6, 2014. This three-week course is designed to improve
the speed and accuracy of the Marines that will make up the maritime
raid force's security element when the 15th MEU deploys in the
spring. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Elize Mckelvey)
This final exercise marked the end of the security
element course, which consisted of Marines with Battalion
Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Combat
Logistics Battalion 15 and the Force Reconnaissance
Detachment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, aboard Camp
This three-week course was designed
to improve the speed and accuracy of the Marines that make
up the Maritime Raid Force security element. When the 15th
MEU deploys in the spring, these Marines will support the
Maritime Raid Force by providing exterior security when the
raid force hits an objective, and by augmenting the
personnel on that raid force.
This exercise required
the Marines to plan and execute a raid in an urban
environment and eliminate a high-value target while using
the skills they had learned throughout the course.
The Marines split into five groups, which included two
blocking positions on the road, two isolation groups to
ensure buildings surrounding the objective building were
clear and to hold security on the objective. The tactics the
security element uses vary based on their mission, but what
stays consistent is that a lot of moving parts had to work
together in order to make the mission successful.
Marine Lance Cpl. Lucas West, a team leader with BLT 3/1,
explained how previous training during the security element
course helped them succeed during the raid.
started off with baby steps, simply learning how to patrol
through a town,” said West. “The walk-throughs helped us
make sure everyone knew their roles and what needed to be
done to have a successful mission.”
The crawl, walk,
run approach to training was apparent throughout the entire
“We were able to improve by starting off slow
and working on everything one step at a time,” said Lance
Cpl. Timothy Huffman, a team leader with BLT 3/1.
Learning these skills will ensure these Marines are prepared
to support the MRF during the 15th MEU's deployment.
“I feel a lot more confident in my own and my team's
abilities to perform any type of close quarters shooting or
maneuvering through urban environments,” said Huffman.
Following this course, the Marines with the security
element will continue to train in preparation for the 15th
“This was a foundation,” said Cpl.
Collin Medford, a squad leader with BLT 3/1. “I expect
things to get a lot more difficult as we go through the work
up and keep doing those rehearsals as they taught us here.”
By U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Elize Mckelvey
Comment on this article