Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C. --
Marine Wing Support Squadron 272 participated in a squadron-sized field training exercise aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, April 15-19.
The Marines spent the week reinforcing the tactics and skills learned during Marine Combat Training.
“The purpose of the exercise is to increase the proficiency in mission-essential tasks and to get back to the ‘every Marine is a rifleman’ mindset,” said Capt. Christine Taranto, MWSS-272 Headquarters Company commander.. “One of the things we are supposed to perform as a squadron is airbase ground defense. We have to be able to go out and secure an air point so helicopters are able to land.”
The squadron had Navy Corpsmen go to the field and give a refresher course on the Individual First Aid Kits and combat life saving skills, said Taranto. The IFAK contains several first aid treatments for traumatic injures including an antimicrobial elastic bandages, tourniquets, and QuikClot Combat Gauzes that creates blood clots to stop bleeding.
The Marines set up defensive positions around the newly secured landing zone. They dug five to six foot fighting holes around the site and laid out their sectors of fire on a map, said Lance Cpl. Fabian R Sanchez.
Fire team leaders coordinated with each other to provide the maximum coverage and safety.
“It has been awhile since I have set up a defense and patrolled,” Sgt. David Carpenter, 3rd platoon, 2nd squad leader for the exercise. “I’m sure he has not done this since MCT,” as he pointed to his partner in a fighting hole.
Calling in artillery fire, medical evacuations, and patrolling are some of the other classes the Marines went through, said Carpenter.
The opposing force was played by other Marines from the squadron. The Marines wore Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System, or MILES equipment, to tell when and where a Marine was hit by a simulated round.
MILES gear allows Marines the opportunity to simulate casualties and teaches them how to seek cover and provide support.
The opposing force attempted to breach the defensive lines and attack the patrolling Marines.
“A lot of the Marines haven’t worked together,” said Master Sgt. Thor Lucas, MWSS-272 operations chief. “I busted them up from their companies and put them together. I think we are going to get more continuity from the Marines and putting them back in the mind set ‘every Marine is a rifleman.’ We are showing them something different.”