Recon Marines infiltrate beach, conduct raid

by Cpl. Lena Wakayama
III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated PA

U.S. NAVAL BASE GUAM -- Reconnaissance Marines conducted a simulated limited scale raid Sept. 20 at U.S. Naval Base Guam during Exercise Valiant Shield 2014.

The goal of the raid is to neutralize a command and control cell in order to aid a company of infantry Marines seize an airfield, according to Maj. Jason Vose, the operations officer of 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

The Marines, with 3rd Recon Bn., loaded diver propulsion devices onto combat rubber raiding craft and rode out with the tide as the sun began to set.

The DPDs are small submersible devices that the divers use to travel a greater distance in less time than it would take for them to swim.

U.S. Navy divers were also present at the raid to ensure the Marines’ safety during the dive and consequent raid.

Prior to the raid, the Marines worked extensively with the Navy to familiarize themselves with the Navy vessels, specifically submarines, according to 1st Lt. Daniel Romans, a platoon commander with 3rd Recon Bn.

“We have been trying to assimilate ourselves to where we can conduct amphibious operations using dive teams, scout swimmers and clandestine amphibious inserts from a sea platform like a submarine,” said Romans. “(That way) we can transition from sub-surface to surface (and then) into reconnaissance operations or a raid on an objective.”

Once the sun had set, the first team of Marines, the dive team, used the cover of darkness, disembarked the CRRC, and used the DPDs to travel as close to shore as they could before having to swim and wade their way onto the beach.

“After the dive team secures the beach, we scout swim to the beach, link up with them and conduct a raid,” said Sgt. Brian Rogan, a native of Warwick, New York, and a team leader with 3rd Recon Bn.

Although the Marines did not insert using a submarine for this particular raid, the time spent with the Navy has been beneficial, according to Vose, a native of Concrete, Washington.

“It’s been awesome working with the Navy,” said Romans, a native of Maryville, Tennessee. “The Marines and the Marine Corps in general have been in the desert (for a long time) and working with the Navy has reattached some old roots that may have been lost.”

The training done during VS14 is a stepping stone for future operations and future opportunities for the Navy and the reconnaissance elements of the Marine Corps, according to Romans.

“The focus on the interoperability is the key takeaway for us,” said Vose. “Some of the relationships that we were looking to develop (during initial planning) have matured and we look forward to working with the Navy (submarine) community in the future.”

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