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Night Convoys, Gun Shoots and Training Galore
by USMC Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns - September 14, 2013

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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – Humvees, 7-ton trucks and other armored vehicles ruled the road August, 27-28, 2013 ... as Marines with Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38, Detachment A, continued pre-deployment training aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, CA.

Marines with Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38, Detachment A attach night vision goggles to their helmets during pre-deployment training aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, CA on Aug. 27, 2013. They used the NVGs to navigate while driving in the dark during convoy training. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns)
Marines with Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38, Detachment A attach night vision goggles to their helmets during pre-deployment training aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, CA on Aug. 27, 2013. They used the NVGs to navigate while driving in the dark during convoy training. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns)

This was just a small portion of an intense training schedule as the detachment prepares for a deployment to the Middle East in a couple of weeks.

The convoy ops training put Marines behind the wheel of armored vehicles as they line up in a convoy, and navigated through day and low-light conditions and in the dark with night vision goggles.

“[With this training] we are giving all of our drivers a chance to drive in multiple conditions before this deployment,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Huack, the detachment's company gunnery sergeant and an Arlington, Texas native. “We want to keep the skills sharp because training like this atrophies if you don't keep up with it. We plan on reacquainting the Marines with NVGs and getting them used to driving using them as well.”

During their downtime, Marines received classes from sergeants on topics ranging from their own experiences while deployed to suicide awareness.

“A lot of these Marines are young and some of them have just gotten their [Humvee driver's licenses,] but, they are getting a lot of good training that I think will help them out in the future,” said Sgt. Justin Snow, a refrigeration and air conditioning technician with the detachment and a Lynn Center, Ill., native. “This kind of training is taking it a step beyond what units usually do for pre-deployment training. I really think we're taking a step in the right direction by doing this. I'm confident about going on this deployment.”

The Marines also went to Carlos Hathcock Range where they brushed up on their advance combat marksmanship techniques.

Every shooter took the course of fire three times – once in the day, once in low-light conditions with a visible laser mounted to their weapon and another in complete darkness with an infrared laser which could only be seen by those wearing NVGs.

The more these Marines practice these techniques, the more the movements and firing positions become muscle memory allowing their bodies to keep up with their minds in a fire fight.

“I'm really excited about this deployment,” said Lance Cpl. Spencer Studer, a satellite communications technician with the detachment and a Parker, Colo., native. “I get to do what I enlisted to do—travel and see a lot of new things. I've really enjoyed our pre-deployment training; getting to handle weapons systems, hike and do activities I don't get the chance to do on a normal basis. It's good for us to get this extra experience before we go into this deployment.”

With this training under their belts, the Marines of MWCS-38, Det. A are well prepared for a successful deployment.

By USMC Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2013

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