MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
As the weather dropped to near-freezing conditions at the Combat Center’s Acorn training area, the Marines and sailors of Transportation Support Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 7
, were waking up before dawn to take part in multiple classes to improve their basic warrior skills this week.
Training began Tuesday morning after everyone woke up to find a wildlife welcoming committee of playful coyotes sniffing through packs and climbing into their tents.
After the coyotes retreated into the desert, the warriors broke up into their designated platoons and began their training.
During the exercises, the Marines were expected to show leadership skills by stepping up as fire team and squad leaders’ and taking charge of the junior Marines. The leaders were responsible for accountability and ensuring every Marine and sailor knew when and where to be every day.
The purpose of this training is to strengthen leadership, combat and military occupational specialty skills, said 1st Lt. Saba Safiari, the company’s executive officer. Every Marine has to be able to function as a rifleman and be proficient in his MOS.
Each morning, every platoon sat through informal refresher classes on land navigation, motor transportation, convoy operations, landing support operations, perimeter defense of a forward operating base, and other MOS- related instructions.
“This training will help us see where the Marines stand,” said Gunnery Sgt. Klaus Springer, the Transportation Support Co. gunnery sergeant. “We have a lot of new Marines who just checked in and we also have a few Marines who just got back from deployment. We’ll try to mix them together to see where the company stands.”
A few of the MOS-specific classes consisted of how much weight can be carried internally and externally on different helicopters, what types of slings are needed to carry vehicles and equipment, and the hand and arm signal communication with pilots.
In the midst of the training, Cpl. Naomi Bachochin, a landing support specialist with 3rd Platoon, said she wished for a hot shower, but felt the need for knowledge far outweighed the want of personal comfort.
“This training will help prepare us for Afghanistan, and even though we are pulling out of Iraq, we still have Marines over there,” said the Columbus, Ohio native. “It is very important to keep training because you never know what is going to pop up.”