Marines, Soldiers Reap Benefits of Warrior Exercise
July 28, 2014
FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Marines from B Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division conducted recon training during Warrior Exercise (WAREX) 91 14-03 in conjunction with Army National Guard troops in early July. The joint exercise included rappelling, vehicle movement and combat patrols.
"The integration between the Marines and the Soldiers here was great training for both branches," said Capt. Benjamin Howe, the platoon leader of 2nd Platoon, B Company. "At any given point, we can be working with the Army or any other branch of service. It's also good training to get out of your own team [and] get out of your comfort zone."
Despite the differences between the branches, there are real world benefits to joint training.
"The Marine Corps, in general, is always willing and eager to train with other services. It's one of the reasons we're here," said Howe. "We often find ourselves working together in different conflict areas."
The recon teams scouted a road for four days, taking pictures and reporting every bit of pertinent information to their platoon leaders, said Howe a Rochester, New York, native.
"Two teams are continuing to observe objective areas and sending back photos of the area via high frequency radios," he said. "They are painting the picture of the objective areas."
While one team continued observation activities, the Marines staged an ambush against opposing forces (OPFOR) made up of a California National Guard infantry unit. The operation took place in the early hours of July 23, and all prior training was of great benefit, Howe said.
"On our last phase of training, we conducted 24 hour patrols and reconnaissance on our objectives," said Cpl. Zachary K. Morgan, a member of 2nd Platoon. "One of the teams conducted a hasty ambush on the opfor for training purposes. It was great training for the team that conducted the ambush and for the infantry unit (opfor) [reacting to the ambush]."
The array of recon training including rope systems, rappelling; one-rope bridges; knots and pulley systems, vehicle movement, armored ATVs (all terrain vehicles) and other off-road vehicles, and patrols, said Morgan, a Morgantown, West Virginia, native.
"At the end of the day, we're all Americans fighting for the same cause," said Howe. "And we are definitely going to be coming back."