View Full Version : Marines, sailors get in-depth convoy operations training

01-30-06, 06:56 AM
Marines, sailors get in-depth convoy operations training
MCB Camp Butler
Story by Lance Cpl. Terence L. Yancey

CENTRAL TRAINING AREA, OKINAWA, Japan (Jan. 30, 2006) -- Marines and sailors with the Border Transition Team, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, performed a convoy operations field training exercise at the Central Training Area Jan. 19 and 20.

The two-day exercise served as a test to ensure the service members understood the many complex aspects of convoy operations. Headquarters Company, 3rd MarDiv, tested BTT throughout the training, ensuring they met all necessary training requirements in order to prepare them for an upcoming deployment to Iraq. During their tour in Iraq, the team will be responsible for training and assisting the Iraqi border police.

Prior to the exercise, the BTT trained for three weeks in order to give the service members the opportunity to learn and practice several different real-world scenarios.
During the exercise, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team from 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, gave the BTT detailed instruction on the many dangers of improvised explosive devices and trained them on how to detect IEDs and what to do after one is identified.

Following the class, BTT walked through a path where 19 simulated IEDs were set up. The technicians demonstrated how to spot IEDs and follow proper procedures after encountering and identifying a device.

After learning the basics, the Marines took a vehicle convoy out on the road and applied the elements of operating a convoy.

Along the route, the service members got another chance to identify IEDs. The EOD technicians set up simulated IEDs creating an obstacle course for the trainees. To add to the realism of the training, the IEDs were rigged to make a loud sound and set off smoke when triggered.

“It was great to do IED training with EOD looking over our shoulders to tell us what we did wrong,” said Cpl. Lissay Ly, a mobile multi-channel equipment operator with 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd MarDiv. “It’s great to be able to practice in a controlled environment that’s so realistic.”

The convoy drills also included a mock ambush. As the convoy pulled into the Central Training Area’s Combat Town, service members, role-playing as insurgents, met them in a vehicle containing IEDs. The convoy was forced to react and combine their urban combat techniques with IED detection.

Throughout the day, the members of the opposing force made frequent appearances, keeping the members of the convoy on their toes.

“Playing a member of the opposing force gave us a lot of insight into what it’s like dealing with insurgents,” said Lance. Cpl. Russell Sosa, a mobile multi-channel equipment operator with 4th Marines, 3rd MarDiv.

The training exercise peaked during the second day, after the Marines and sailors spent a night in combat town. The service members were confronted with one final scenario, which encompassed all of the training.

The Marines performed in a textbook manner, said Gunnery Sgt. Justin Martone, the EOD team leader, in BTT’s debriefing.

“Having EOD out here was absolutely invaluable,” said 1st Lt. Taylor Buff, executive officer, Headquarters Co., 3rd MarDiv. “There is no better source out there. Being prepared to respond to these situations is going to save lives.”