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Marines with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, observe as combat engineers lay down mine clearing line charges to clear the path Range 410 while participating in Integrated Training Exercise 3-16 aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., May 9, 2016. 2/8 came from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., to participate in ITX 3-16. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dave Flores/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Dave Flores

Echo Company sweeps through ITX 3-16

19 May 2016 | Lance Cpl. Dave Flores Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Marines from 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, traveled from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., to perform field training exercises at Ranges 400 and 410 as part of Integrated Training Exercise 3-16 aboard the Combat Center May 8 and 9, 2016
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During the exercise, each Marine from Echo Company played their role in executing the mission. Combat engineers cleared the way for fellow Marines and kept them safe from notional improvised explosive devices, snipers provided cover fire for the riflemen who advanced using fire and maneuver.

“Everything we learn, from buddy pairs to battalion sized movements, we utilized here,” said Cpl. John C. Fisher, squad leader, 2/8. “We practiced fire and movement along with fire and maneuver on the basic level to complete the range.”

According to the Marines of 2/8, it is important to train in an environment similar to the one they’ll encounter while deployed. Not only is it beneficial for Marines at the forefront, it provides invaluable training for the leaders behind the scenes.

Maj. Gen. Brian Beaudreault, commanding general, 2nd Marine Division, attended the training exercise to observe Marines from his division prepare for their upcoming deployment with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa. SPMAGTF-CR-AF is a self-sustaining crisis-response force specifically designed to support U.S. and partner interests throughout the United States Africa Command area of responsibility to include; embassy reinforcement, support of non-combatant evacuation operations, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

“It is important to use all the organic weapons systems we have available at the infantry battalion-sized level,” said Beaudreault. “This type of training isn’t available on the East Coast. So it is great to train ourselves to the high-caliber end of each spectrum.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms