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Marines with 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion head out on a route reconnaissance mission in support of 1st Marine Division's Desert Scimitar training exercise. The battalion served as the division's armored reconnaissance element.

Photo by Cpl. Ali Azimi

3rd LAR conducts route reconnaissance mission

10 May 2013 | Cpl. Ali Azimi

Marines with Company A, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion took part in 1st Marine Division’s annual Desert Scimitar training exercise when they conducted a route reconnaissance mission from check point 47 at the Lava training area to check point 38 at the Delta training area, May 3.

The mission was one of many recon exercises the battalion has conducted since the beginning of the exercise April 28. Their role in the mission was to help determine enemy presence and influence in the area and the route’s availability as a pathway for other Marines.

They served as the division’s mobile reconnaissance element, their eyes on the ground.

“Usually we mostly do work-ups, for specific events like Marine Expeditionary Units or Afghanistan, so it’s more focused on us as a company or a battalion,” said Cpl. Jean-Aubert Madere, vehicle commander, Co. A, 3rd LAR. “This is a much broader scale so it’s a lot more logistics. It kind of plays more into the big picture.”

Desert Scimitar is a division-sized exercise which utilizes the division’s many assets including the Combat Center’s 3rd LAR. The unit set up their center of command at the Lead Mountain training area during the beginning of the exercise but their mission in support of the division took the LAV crews much further. 

They set up observation post with views of simulated enemy targets being fired upon by artillery units. 3rd LAR Marines spotted the rounds to make sure they were hitting their proper objectives.

“We spent two days on a screen position in front of Regimental Combat Team 5,” said said Capt. Pete Ableson, commander, Co. A, 3rd LAR. “While we were out there we observed fires and facilitated to disrupt the enemy reconnaissance.”

The battalion’s mission during the exercise was unlike their routine training aboard the Combat Center. The coordination between the many units involved in Desert Scimitar presented them with an opportunity to better understand their role in a bigger plan.

“It allows Marines who don’t normally get to see the big picture and understand what’s going on at the higher level,” Ableson said.  “It provides the opportunity to bring in young Marines, who aren’t normally exposed to this level of planning and detail, and shows them what’s going on.”

Afterwords, 3rd LAR continued in their mission to secure various regimental objectives throughout the Combat Center training areas. They supported the various regiments in their mission until the conclusion of the large scale exercise May 5.


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