MARINE COPRS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER, TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Company E, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance battalion, cross trained their light armored vehicle crewmen in the job of infantry scouts, or “ground pounders” in a week–long field operation that began March 31 and concludes today.
“What we’ve been doing this week is training LAV crewmen to perform in an environment where they’re outside of their vehicles,” said 1st Lt. Aryn Vastola, a platoon commander with Company E and a West Palm Beach, Fla., native.
“We know we always go into battle with an LAV,” he said. “But it is vital to us that we learn how to conduct our mission in a dismounted way.”
The main portion of the training consisted of Marines performing buddy rushes, where they support one another with cover–fire as they assault an enemy position.
During the buddy rushes the Marines conducted live–fire maneuvers with the M-4 carbine rifle and the M249 squad automatic weapon.
“This training we are doing is what is going to help us out later,” he said about future deployments. “It is a big part of what 3rd LAR does, we move in vehicles, but are capable of getting out on foot as well.”
Marines who participated in the training agreed it was incredibly valuable for them to do.
“I think I did pretty good. All my shots were good ones and I made it through the buddy rush course pretty fast,” said Lance Cpl. Sterling Baker, an LAV crewman with Company E and a native of Albuquerque, N.M. “This stuff is good to go, and it doesn’t hurt to run around in the field either, it can even be fun sometimes.”
With the rest of the battalion recently deployed, the company will work on sharpening their skills for their first deployment.