Renovated combat town opens doors to School of Infantry West Marines
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    Exclamation Renovated combat town opens doors to School of Infantry West Marines

    Renovated combat town opens doors to School of Infantry West Marines
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    A new combat town opened this month after a major redesign.

    The School of Infantry West combat town has been around since the 1970s and is the first step in practical-application war fighting for West Coast Marines.
    The old combat town trained Marines in the basics of patrolling streets in a combat environment, but it had to meet better requirements, said Salim Syed, range project coordinator, Training Resources Management Division. The reconstruction of the combat town began in July with land surveys, demolishing the old structures and leveling the area to build multi-level structures.

    According to Syed, the project started as a request from SOI W, which needed new facilities for its training.

    The development of the new combat town was led by the Training Resource Management Division. The town consists of 49 ship containers configured in different ways that make up 19 new buildings. Each container has the ability to hook up to a generator to provide electricity in the buildings, said Syed.

    The combat town is primarily designed for SOI W Marines, but is available to other units.

    Both combat towns were designed for Military Operations in Urban Terrain training, but the new one is more realistic with multi-story buildings, said Staff Sgt. Cameron S. Clarke, first platoon commander, Company K, SOI W.

    The new combat town has more buildings with external and internal stairwells providing a 3-D combat environment.

    “We teach Marines the basics of clearing rooms and going through the town,” Cameron said.

    Marines from SOI W must complete at least six hours of practical application, learning all the basics of MOUT training. After practical application, they will go through a three-day final exercise evaluation, performing security patrols, gathering intelligence and working through different scenarios in the combat town, said Clarke.

    “One of the scenarios is to secure the combat town, sweeping the buildings looking for weapons caches,” said Clarke. We are going to set up some aggressors throughout the combat town to see how the Marines handle themselves in real world scenarios, he added.

    “We have about 420 Marines per company, and around 840 Marines go through the training at the combat town a week” Clarke said.

    In the next few years, Camp Pendleton will build more combat towns and training areas, according to Syed.

    More proposed projects are new live-fire courses with cities and villages for tactical convoy operations.

    “It is very rewarding to know we put out products like the SOI W combat town for our Marines” said Syed.


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