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Twentynine Palms, California
Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
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An Amphibious Assault Vehicle crewman with Company D, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, scopes out his vehicles' next position during an assault Dec. 11 at the Combat Center's Acorn Training Area.

Photo by Pvt. Michael T. Gams

Co. D, 3rd AAB, on the right track

21 Dec 2009 | Pvt. Michael T. Gams Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Marines and sailors with Company D, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion refamiliarized themselves with their Amphibious Assault Vehicles at the Combat Center’s Acorn Training Area Dec. 7-11.

The company has been utilized as provisional infantry during their past several deployments, so they needed to reacquaint themselves with their vehicles and refresh their maneuvering skills, said 1st Sgt. Johnny Rositas, the company first sergeant for Co. D, 3rd AAB.

While in the field, the company acted as the forward-deployed element in a battalion-wide training evolution, said 1st Lt. Michael Arthur, the company logistics officer.

According to Arthur, the battalion is split up with Co. D stationed here at the Combat Center and the rest of the battalion stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

When it came time to go to the field, each section went to their perspective location and relied on a good communication system to help them remain effective, despite the distance which separated Co. D from its parent battalion.

“We’re training how we fight and when we are in combat, we might be split up from our parent battalion,” Arthur said. “Training away from the battalion gives us the know-how to operate away from them in country.”

When not conducting operations within the battalion, Co. D’s platoons broke into sections to practice maneuvering under fire, movement to and from contact, patrol techniques and responding to enemy improvised explosive device attacks and ambushes.

They also practiced relaying casualty information from the AAVs, to the combat operations center and to the battalion at Camp Pendleton.

On Dec. 10, the entire company applied their training by conducting a variety of mock missions.

According to Rositas, the company did well on their evaluations.

“It’s always nice to get some good training out here,” said Master Sgt. Jerry P. Moss, the logistics chief for Co. D, 3rd AAB. “Our Marines are smart, quick-thinking, adaptable and determined to get any mission done. I’m proud of them and proud to serve with them.”

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms