MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Marines with Company C, 1st Tank Battalion, got off of their vehicles and submerged themselves in an urban warfare environment April 27 through 29 at the Combat Center’s Range 111.
The training was meant to prepare the Marines, who are usually riding in tanks, the basic tactics of operating in an urban environment, said Capt. Peter M. Rummler, the company commander and a native of Oscar, La.
“It’s a tank battalion, we’re usually in tanks,” Rummler said. “We’re training to be more proficient on the ground outside of our machines.”
Rummler said training is important for the Marines to take in and learn from, because missions for the tankers overseas are not always in their tanks, but dismounted as infantry .
“Its vital for every Marine to have basic house-clearing skills,” he said. “Our training with both live and non-live fire training is important in several ways.
“Our Marines are going to be taught the slow way, by walking through and not using rounds,” he said. “They also are going to get a better feel for things as they get to use live rounds when they go through the facility at full speed.”
The upcoming deployment for the company might encompass them utilizing the skills they have, Rummler said.
“From current information we have, Charlie Company is deploying in the fall of this year,” he said.
“Our operations in Iraq may cause us to dismount and clear a town or village,” he said. “Now we can use the skills we learn doing things like this as part of our PTP [Pre-deployment Training Program].”
Marines with the company took a lot from the training and thought it was valuable for all of them.
“I’m already a certified MOUT [Military Operations on Urban Terrain] instructor, but for a lot of these [less experienced Marines] its good training,” said Sgt. Shawn Hicks, who is normally a tank commander. “Its good for me to get back to the basics and work with the new guys.”
Hicks, who comes from Kingman, Ariz., said getting back to the basics will help him out as well.
“I haven’t been through the course in a long time, or even worked with this for that matter,” he said. “As you go through the classes with all the new guys you start to get things back into your head.
“MOUT is pretty easy though,” he said. “We all made it through MCT [Marine Combat Training]. We’re just doing the basics here so it shouldn’t be too hard for them to get a hold of it mentally.”
With the company’s MOUT training completed, they will have further exercises throughout the year building up to their fall deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.