Battalion reinforces law enforcement skills in the field

Battalion reinforces law enforcement skills in the field

by Lance Cpl. David N. Hersey, III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office
U.S. Marine Corps

CENTRAL TRAINING AREA, OKINAWA, Japan -- Marines with Company A, 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, established a combat outpost on Landing Zone Pigeon in the Central Training Area during a three-day field training event.

The training tested numerous skillsets required of law enforcement Marines to operate effectively across the Asia-Pacific region.

The Marines set up a defensive perimeter and an entry control point for the command operations center in the outpost, according to 1st Lt. Gary G. Arnold, executive officer with Company A, 3rd LE Bn., III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF. The same procedures would be applied during a regional exercise or operation.

“We’re trying to instill the basic skills we would use in the field into our Marines,” said Arnold. “As a law enforcement battalion, our Marines are attached to several units in groups of twenty or more at a time, and we can rarely train as an entire company. By focusing on the basics now, we ensure they all have a similar foundation of skills to rely on when they work together.”

Each platoon in the company patrolled the area surrounding the combat outpost, searching for signs of enemy presence or unexpected threats.

The Marines discussed the outcome of each patrol to determine the tactics and techniques that needed the most improvement, according to Gunnery Sgt. William J. Curtis, a physical security specialist with the company.

“This (training) allows us to expand on the basics of squad tactics,” said Curtis. “When we review the overall performance of the Marines, we identify any deficiencies and make the necessary corrections.”

Staying at the landing zone for several days strengthened small-unit leadership and unit cohesion, according to Lance Cpl. Michael C. Ciraulo, a military police member with the company.

“It’s been said that high-stress environments bring people together,” said Ciraulo. “Being out here, sleeping on the ground, constantly on the alert for a (simulated) attack, and spending off time we get with one another, allows us the opportunity to learn more about the Marines in our unit.”

For Marines new to the company, the time in the field also increased confidence in their individual skills, according to Curtis.

“A lot of the Marines out here with us are fresh from (military occupational specialty school),” said Curtis. “They need to practice using the skills they have learned in the field, and they are getting that now. We’ve been out here for 24 hours, and I have seen their confidence grow practically overnight.”

The Marines understood the necessity and importance of the training, according to Ciraulo.

“This training is important for us,” said Ciraulo. “Not only is it for the new Marines, but it’s for those of who have been with the unit for a long time too. For the new Marines, they learn how our unit carries out its duties. Our more experienced Marines have the opportunity to pass on techniques and knowledge gained from experience.”

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