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Marine Forces Europe and Africa

United States Marine Corps

USAG Stuttgart, Germany
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BSRF-13 conducts desert, urban training in Israel

By Lance Cpl. Michael Dye | | August 6, 2013


Marines and sailors with Black Sea Rotational Force 13 have travelled south into the Israeli desert to conduct internal training operations focusing on desert warfare and urban terrain.

The Marines conducted company size exercises in which every squad played different roles while simulated enemy fire forced squad leaders to make quick decisions.

“The purpose of these drills is to ensure that everyone has a different role, that way in real combat we are better prepared for anything that may occur,” said Lance Cpl. Daniel Buckley, a rifleman with Easy Company, BSRF-13 and a Millerstown, Pa. native.

The Marines ran the scenarios several times; each time changing the scenario dynamics and the squad leadership roles.  This allowed not only training in the overall aspect of desert warfare, but also forced young Marines to step up and take charge of a squad and practice effectively maneuvering a squad in combat.

“It’s great training,” said Buckley.  “In order to make these decisions you have to make sure that you’re knowledgeable on infantry tactics and you have to be able to anticipate and visualize different movements to accurately engage the enemy.”

After the Marines completed their desert warfare training, they changed the pace and moved into an urban environment.

The urban environment the Marines went to was roughly the size of a city capable of housing about 10,000 people.  This environment gave the Marines a great opportunity to perform raids on a city-size location.

“This MOUT environment is one of the largest training environments I have ever seen, “said Buckley.  “While we were maneuvering through this large training environment we could not see our objective point.  We had to rely on maps and the commands from our section leaders to arrive at our destination and not get lost.”

After the Marines reached the objective, they faced one last task before they could return to their rally point.

“We have the saying, ‘never leave a Marine behind’,” said Buckley.  “We simulated a casualty and had to carry him out of the danger zone and get him back to the rally point in order to medically evacuate him to a hospital.  Doing this in an environment so large proved to be difficult but we were successful in completing the mission with all the Marines we started with.”