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15th Marine Expeditionary Unit


15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

America's Vanguard Force

Camp Pendleton, CA
Sun, sand no day at beach for Golf 2/5

By Lance Cpl. Timothy T. Parish | | July 10, 2008

The Marines and sailors of Golf Company, Battalion Landing Team 2/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, are taking advantage of the wide-open desert training areas in Northern Kuwait to send some rounds downrange and further refine their combat readiness.

With limited opportunities to conduct live-fire exercises while deployed aboard USS Peleliu (LHA 5), the Marines and sailors of Golf 2/5 welcomed the chance to burn up the desert air, according to Sgt. Marcus A. Wunderlich, First Platoon Guide, Golf Company.

“(The training) helps tremendously because, for one, it gets us out in a foreign country in extreme heat and it’s (ideal training) for the type of war we fight now days. We can only make ranges (so realistic) back in the States but here it is pretty accurate to what these Marines may see down the road if we get called into country,” Wunderlich said.

After two-months bound by limitless oceans, the Marines were eager to lock-and-load once again, according to Wunderlich. During the training, the Marines brushed up on the procedures of grenade usage, room clearing and assaulting fixed positions through fire and maneuver — all impossible in the confines of USS Peleliu, according to Wunderlich.

“Being on land, being able to shoot live rounds, it’s what we’re all about,” said Wunderlich, a native of Denison, Texas. “You don’t want the Marines to get complacent and content. You can never train enough. Continuous remediation keeps (the Marines) sharp and on their toes so they’re always thinking about what they have to do and how they’re going to do it—so if they actually go into combat—it’s still in the front of their minds.”

 “In my experience, most of what we do is perishable knowledge, and the only way to retain it is to constantly train. The more we do things the easier it is to retain it,” according to Staff Sgt. Kemp J. Miller, 1st Platoon Sergeant, Golf 2/5.

To Miller, a native of Mission Viejo, Calif., the greatest advantage of training whenever possible is the warrior mindset developed during intense tactical exercises under realistic conditions.

“We train like we fight. (The Golf 2/5 Marines) understand that this is training but at the same time they give 100 percent,” said Miller. “They go out there and they give everything they have. The way I look at it, if we do the same thing if we go into country somewhere we will be able to protect each other and do well.”

For the Marines and Sailors of Golf 2/5 having boots-on-ground in Kuwait offers a respite from the day-to-day routine of life on ship. The lack of training opportunities while underway aboard USS Peleliu has not dulled the ability of Golf Company’s Marines and Sailors to build on their operational capabilities, according to 2nd Lt. Colin J. Kiernan, 1st Platoon Commander

“Not only is this good training but it’s a relief for the (Marines) to be off ship. It’s good to get out here and throw some rounds down range,” said Kiernan. “It’s not like riding a bike where you learn it once and you’re done. You have to constantly practice to stay at a high level of proficiency.”

The training in Kuwait also helps Golf Company retain their finely tuned efficiency in the ability to accomplish any mission, according to Kiernan.

“We never know what fight we’ll get into next. The last few years the Marine Corps has been focused on counter-insurgency and (military operations in urban terrain),”

said Kiernan. “What we’re practicing out here is almost exclusively the high-kinetic, open terrain type of fighting.”

The Camp Pendleton, Calif. based 15th MEU is comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and Sailors and is a forward deployed force in readiness capable of conducting numerous operations, such as Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations, Humanitarian Assistance Operations and a wide range of amphibious missions. The 15th MEU is currently conducting sustainment training exercises at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.