USMC Lance Cpl. Cameron D. Barr motions for a hostile role
player to turn around during military operations on urban terrain
training Jan. 16, 2013 at combat town in the Central Training Area
near Camp Hansen. Barr is an AAV crewman with
Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine
Expeditionary Force. (Photo by USMC Lance Cpl. Donald T. Peterson)
OKINAWA, Japan (1/25/2013) - “Set!” yells a fire team leader as
he waits outside a doorway. The Marine behind him grabs his shoulder
and gives the command, “Go!” The four-man team rushes into the room,
clearing it of enemies.
Marines with Combat Assault
Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force,
trained for military operations on urban terrain Jan. 16 at Combat
Town in the Central Training Area near Camp Hansen.
Marines rehearsed clearing buildings, detaining and handling mock
enemy prisoners of war, establishing casualty collection points, and
conducted immediate action drills.
At combat town, each
building presents the Marines with unpredictable layouts – similar
to what Marines would experience in urban combat operations,
according to 1st Lt. Kevin J. Corpuz, an assault amphibious vehicle
officer with the battalion. The rooms are filled with furniture,
windows and stairways to enhance realism while training.
majority of the Marines have a basic understanding of (urban
operations), but this training brought them together and allowed
them to build on what they've learned and fix their mistakes for
when it really counts,” said Sgt. Thomas R. Hughes, a basic tank and
AAV crewman with the battalion.
The Marines rehearsed
different routines on proper room clearing to enhance their
“We entered the buildings several times using different
combinations of team members in order to achieve familiarity
while working with each other,” said Lance Cpl. Justin A.
Phillips, an AAV crewman with the battalion. “Morale
remained high throughout the training.”
after-action reviews, the Marines shared successes and
identified ways to improve their skills in the urban
“Positive comments included the use of realistic
scenarios and complicated buildings, which provided a
training challenge, allowing us to improvise on the fly, and
made us communicate during movement,” said Phillips.
The Marines also identified and addressed areas in need of
improvement, such as movement on stairwells, interacting
with the local urban populace, and the use of the M249 squad
automatic weapons during room clearing operations.
“Always being prepared to perform real-world urban
operations is important for every Marine,” said Corpuz.
The Marines enjoyed their experience at combat town and
will take valuable lessons away from the training, according
“I felt that the hands-on experience was
very enjoyable for everyone, and the classes and drills are
critical for operating in urban terrain,” said Hughes. “It's
good for the Marines that have never deployed to learn the
basic fundamentals. Now they will have the fundamental
experience and knowledge needed to operate successfully in
an urban environment.”
By USMC Lance Cpl. Donald T. Peterson
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