The training consisted of a security patrol in which three scenarios were set up for the Marines to react to; finding a lost Marine, searching for a possible improvised explosive device, and reacting to an explosion that resulted in casualties.
Sgt. Gregory T. Discher, a squad leader with Security Company, 2nd Supply Battalion, 2nd MLG (Fwd), and the security element leader for the exercise, said the purpose of the monthly training was to evaluate the Marines’ immediate action skills, and also allowed the Marines to refine their skills in a combat environment.
If and when something happened, they’d be ready.
“We’re constantly going from inside the wire to outside the wire, whether the enemy is attacking or not,” Discher said. “We’re in a forward-deployed area so we need to mitigate complacency.”
Discher said continuously conducting immediate action training is important for keeping the Marines sharp in their skills and to also develop team work.
“It really helps the squad to anticipate each other’s actions,” Discher said. “How we talk and how we move so we can work around each other effectively.”
“There’s no part of my squad that can’t function in any role on a convoy,” he continued. “If any position goes down, anyone else can replace them. We’ve cross trained enough that they can do everything they need to do to complete the mission.”
Not only are the Marines well-trained in every role of a convoy, but Discher said the Navy corpsmen have done a really good job training the Marines in medical procedures and it shows in the way they assist the corpsmen.
“The guys always listen to what I say,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Sean A. McKay, a Fleet Marine Force and Surface Warfare-qualified corpsman with Security Co. “A Marine who was bleeding profusely [from a simulated broken femur that ripped through the skin], knew to immediately put a tourniquet on himself. He put it on before I got the chance. It was definitely a cool experience.”
McKay said he uses his imagination to make the experience as real as possible, behaving as if everything is actually happening.
“This was the first time my truck ‘blew up’,” McKay recalled. “I always have a set plan on how to get to the other trucks, but this time I had to make a new plan.”
“The training is really good as a refresher,” he continued. “It’s good to keep your skills up. If you don’t keep it serious, there’s no point.”
Discher said overall the Marines did pretty well. They met his expectations but there’s always a need for refinement.
The Marines will continue to conduct immediate action training every month throughout their deployment, remaining proficient in their duties and continuously improving their skills.