Rounds down range during combat training
CAMP SCHWAB, Okinawa, Japan -- Marines load up on ammunition and form up facing replica enemy tanks and bunker positions. Manning their weapons, the Marines stare down sights listening to the commands of the enemy’s forces from a distance. Opening fire on the targets, the Marines begin familiarization of combat training.
The Marines are a part of 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, conducting the ANGLICO Basic Course. The course focuses on familiarizing the Marines with basic infantry skills and how to improve them.
“We are working up for the ANGLICO challenge, which is a 12 mile ruck run that consists of various stations” said Cpl. Myles A. Ortiz the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense chief for 5th ANGLICO, III MHG, III MEF. “Some of us are rusty while others are brand new, but we all gathered here and worked together to gain experience in keeping up with maintaining our combat training.”
The course was conducted for over a month, and had progressed into range week, a section of training dedicated to weapons handling and operating.
“It was an awesome experience today,” said Lance Cpl. Jordan L. Viches, a correctional specialist temporarily assigned to 5th ANGLICO. “I gained a bigger appreciation of what these guys do, especially since they’re so experienced with the weapons that it’s like second nature to them. With their help it was easy for me to pick it up.”
The ABC does not only consist of ANGLICO Marines. Marines from several units participate in the training to gain an updated version of their previous combat training. Many of these Marines vary on experience from only attending Marine Combat Training all the way up to Marines who have participated in combat operations.
“I couldn’t ask for more, they are a really tightknit group and for them to let me in and train with them was a worthwhile experience,” said Viches, from Tampa, Florida. “They treated me as their own. I forgot I worked at the brig and felt I was really a part of their group.”
The training is conducted only by 5th ANGLICO enlisted personnel who range in ranks and experience from lance corporals through master sergeant.
“I’ve conducted this exercise many times, so I work with the newer Marines all the time,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua L. Hanson, a field radio operator for 5th ANGLICO. “If they’re having trouble on a weapons system I see if they have questions and answer them to the best of my abilities and show them techniques I have learned over the years.”
Hanson believes the key thing needed for Marines to take away from this exercise is safety and to be cautious at all times when handling the weapons systems.
“I enjoy helping out the newer marines,” said Hanson, from St. Mary’s, Ohio. “I will do anything that can make them better trained to fight. One day these Marines could be watching my back and I’d like them to be the best that they can be.”