U.S. MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Marines in the security element course posted 360 degrees of security on Nov. 6, 2014, waiting for the signal to move to their next position. This raid would be the culmination of all of the training they had gone through up to this point.
Quickly and silently, the Marines split off in their respective teams and moved to their next point of domination.
Once there, they communicated via radio to begin the assault.
Marines flowed through buildings, ensuring each one is cleared of any insurgents or targets. Once they had full security around their objective point, the raid force moved in to take out the high-value target.
This final exercise marked the end of the security element course, which consisted of Marines with Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Combat Logistics Battalion 15 and the Force Reconnaissance Detachment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif.
This three-week course was designed to improve the speed and accuracy of the Marines that make up the Maritime Raid Force security element. When the 15th MEU deploys in the spring, these Marines will support the Maritime Raid Force by providing exterior security when the raid force hits an objective, and by augmenting the personnel on that raid force.
This exercise required the Marines to plan and execute a raid in an urban environment and eliminate a high-value target while using the skills they had learned throughout the course.
The Marines split into five groups, which included two blocking positions on the road, two isolation groups to ensure buildings surrounding the objective building were clear and to hold security on the objective. The tactics the security element uses vary based on their mission, but what stays consistent is that a lot of moving parts had to work together in order to make the mission successful.
Marine Lance Cpl. Lucas West, a team leader with BLT 3/1, explained how previous training during the security element course helped them succeed during the raid.
“We started off with baby steps, simply learning how to patrol through a town,” said West. “The walk-throughs helped us make sure everyone knew their roles and what needed to be done to have a successful mission.”
The crawl, walk, run approach to training was apparent throughout the entire course.
“We were able to improve by starting off slow and working on everything one step at a time,” said Lance Cpl. Timothy Huffman, a team leader with BLT 3/1.
Learning these skills will ensure these Marines are prepared to support the MRF during the 15th MEU’s deployment.
“I feel a lot more confident in my own and my team’s abilities to perform any type of close quarters shooting or maneuvering through urban environments,” said Huffman.
Following this course, the Marines with the security element will continue to train in preparation for the 15th MEU’s deployment.
“This was a foundation,” said Cpl. Collin Medford, a squad leader with BLT 3/1. “I expect things to get a lot more difficult as we go through the work up and keep doing those rehearsals as they taught us here.”