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A Combat Center Marine prepares to hand off his pack so he can fireman carry a Marine during rain-soaked physical training Dec. 21, aboard the Corps’ premiere combined-arms, live-fire training facility located in the Mojave Desert.

Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Sergio Jimenez

Desert downpour no roadblock for Marines

21 Dec 2010 | Gunnery Sgt. Sergio Jimenez

Flash flood warnings and a wrecked training area may have forced Combat Center Marines to scrub their planned 12-mile hike through the Mojave Desert, but not cancel their training plans altogether.

Barred from the training areas for safety reasons, Marines from 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, spread out all over the Combat Center to get a little physical training in before the holidays.

The Thundering Third did a 3-mile ability group run, then a 2-mile individual run, four sets of pull ups, and many, many, crunch drills, said 1stSgt. Carlos Ruiz, company first sergeant, Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Bn., 4th Marines.

The infantry battalion, which espouses brilliance in the basics and the mastery of the individual skills as the foundation of squad, company and battalion success and lethality in combat, recently returned from a deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in April of this year.

The unit is now gearing up to return to Afghanistan in the spring. Keenly aware of the strong possibility of combat in their future, the battalion is training their Marines hard to get them ready.

“It's important for Marines to break through mental blocks and not to limit themselves. It’s amazing what you get from them when you demand it,” said Ruiz, who is from Buckeye, AZ.

As for the rain, “[It] was welcomed,” he said. “We were out there because that is just what Marines do.”


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