View Full Version : Marines get up to speed with Battle Skills training....

10-27-03, 02:36 PM
Submitted by: MCB Quantico
Story Identification Number: 20031024115049
Story by Lance Cpl. Sara A. Carter

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va.(Oct. 3, 2003) -- There is a lot involved in the training that makes us Marines. The process doesn't end with boot camp and Marine Combat Training. Marines from all Military Occupational Specialties must maintain proficiency in basic military skills. One way Headquarters and Service Battalion keeps Marine's knowledge current is by participation in Marine Battle Skills Training.

MBST is six days long and refreshes skills Marines require to function in a fleet unit. The curriculum covers land navigation, firing a Squad Automatic Weapon, throwing a live grenade, a two-night bivouac and defending a set position, as well as the many aspects of military operations in urban terrain.

"Each element of MBST has its purpose," said S-3 training non-commissioned officer, Sgt. Luis Macias. "Patrolling [teaches Marines] to seek out, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver and by fire and movement; defense [teaches Marines] to defend their designated area with force, personal and vehicle searches, how to properly run a check point and detain enemy prisoners of war; and MOUT [teaches] how to clear a room, conduct urban patrolling, and how to handle weapons."

It is important for Marines to conduct this training annually be-cause, "anyone of them could be sent to the tip of the spear and placed into combat," said Macias. "They must know the basic skills to survive and defend their post, but most importantly [to save] their lives. The infantry is the Marine Corps, but if we take mass causalities who is next in line to take our place? Everyone else."

MBST has gone through many changes. When the program first started, Marines from different companies helped run the program, but because of a lack of experience and training, infantry rifleman took over the program and established the basic concept of training, said Macias.

There are currently six Marines who run the MBST program. They all have their favorite part of the program and things they would like to change about it.

"For me what touches home is MOUT, said Macias, "today's war will be in the street, in cities and towns of the world. Marines must know how to train in an urban environment because it is the most dangerous and the most likely place war fighting will take place. MOUT has a 70 percent fatality rate, which means out of an infantry battalion, less than a company would survive a battle. You can never get enough urban training," said Macias.

Sgt. Kelly Van Sickle, Headquarters and Service Battalion Nuclear Biological and Chemical chief, said he "hopes to change NBC from just the gas chamber into MOPP training so Marines can learn to put on MOPP gear properly."

"I believe that this training is vital to every Marine, young and old, because in the end the enemy only sees that you are a Marine and they must kill you," said Macias.