Law enforcement Marines patrol, clear urban terrain
CENTRAL TRAINING AREA, Japan - “Move up, covering fire!” Orders like these mixed with the rattle of machine-gun fire as Marines with 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion took defensive and offensive positions to outmaneuver the simulated enemy machine gunners during military operations on urbanized terrain training Jan. 16 in the Central Training Area.
Marines with the battalion perfected a variety of skill-sets from patrolling to room clearing in preparation for future operations and exercises, as well as increasing overall combat readiness.
“This training is important because we have a lot of different missions as military police,” said Lance Cpl. Spencer Alphonso, a military policeman with 3rd LE Bn., III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF. “We have a variety of tasks (that range from) humanitarian aid to clearing buildings. This training that we are doing now is vital because it allows us to train for these necessary missions.”
During the training, the Marines also strengthened previously learned skills, allowing them to be efficient warriors in a combat scenario, according to Alphonso.
Throughout the exercise, the Marines of Company B, 3rd LE Bn., acted as an opposing force for Marines with Company A.
To further add to the realism of the scenario, simulated improvised explosive devices were placed around the training area and both combatants fired simulated rounds.
“We picked our approach and set up in the buildings,” said Lance Cpl. Jesse M. Callahan, a military policeman with the battalion.
“(The attacking Marines) came through and tried to infiltrate the buildings. (It was our) goal to funnel them in and get them inside a certain building, so we could suppress them and push them back.”
The Marines with Company A completed their training once they had secured their objective and captured or eliminated the mock opposing force.
The MOUT-training scenario was the culminating event for a series of broader evolutions that took place the week prior, according to Gunnery Sgt. Alexander Orellana, a military policeman with the battalion.
“The company has been conducting this exercise for one week,” said Orellana. “We have had K-9 and our intelligence sections here. LE battalion Marines need to be ready to deploy at a moment’s notice to any situation in the Pacific region (for missions) ranging from humanitarian aid to rebuilding a government’s infrastructure.”
The successful training left the Marines confident in their skills, according to Callahan.
“As military police this training is extremely critical,” said Callahan. “If there is ever a threat on the inside, we are the ones to go in. This training has exceeded all my expectations … it has been an excellent experience.”