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15th Marine Expeditionary Unit


15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

America's Vanguard Force

Camp Pendleton, CA
Kilo 3/5 practices clearing insurgents out of villages

By Cpl. John Robbart III | | August 30, 2012


CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — The hunt for suspected insurgents was on when the Marines of Kilo Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, cleared a combat town as part of the unit’s final pre-deployment training, Certification Exercise, Aug. 27-28.

Certification Exercise was different than the previous exercises the MEU conducted as part of their pre-deployment training. During this training, the Marines and sailors did not know what was on the training schedule and were expected to react to scenarios quickly using the Marine Corps’ Rapid Response Planning Process to prepare for the missions the unit will execute.

“This was another premiere opportunity to refine our tactics, techniques and procedures and our standard operating procedures as the MEU’s helo-borne assault company,” said Capt. James E. Dee, commanding officer, Kilo Company, BLT 3/5, 15th MEU. “Additionally we were able to coordinate the helo-borne assault with adjacent and higher units as part of a larger operation,” added the 32-year-old native of Broken Bow, Okla.

The company landed in CH-53E Super Stallions and CH-46E Sea Knights, from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, the MEU’s aviation combat element.

“We are the only force that is able [to conduct this type of mission] this quickly,” said 1st Lt. James P. Rooney, weapons platoon commander, Kilo Company, BLT 3/5, 15th MEU. “It was a great way to end the culminating exercise in the MEU workup,” added the 25-year-old native of Long Island, N.Y.

This exercise was another repetition among many to help better prepare the infantry unit for missions they may encounter while on their deployment.

“We were given a mission to clear out a town of possible insurgents,” said Pfc. Arley E. Duran, rifleman, 3rd Squad, 1st Platoon, Kilo Company, BLT 3/5, 15th MEU. “It’s easy to get rusty at these types of missions if you don’t practice them. We stayed busy this workup preparing for this deployment,” added the 18-year-old native of Los Angeles.

Being brilliant in the basics is part of Col. Scott D. Campbell’s, the 15th MEU commanding officer, philosophy.

“Clearing rooms is a basic task for infantrymen,” said Cpl. Matt R. Burgess, 3rd squad leader, 1st Platoon, Kilo Company, BLT 3/5, 15th MEU. “It is very advanced with a lot of moving parts, but we were able to pull it off successfully,” added the 28-year-old native of Riverside, Calif.

The unit did a lot of planning prior to the operation to include three rehearsal of concept walks. A ROC walk involves a detailed map and lays out the location of each small unit.

“Doing ROC walks is crucial to the execution of an operation like this one,” said Burgess. “Everyone knows where they’re going, down to the most junior Marine.”

The 15th MEU is embarked on the Peleliu ARG, which consists of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47).