Al QATRANAH, Jordan --
The Marines of Company F, Battalion Landing Team 2/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, began the bi-lateral training exercise Infinite Moonlight here recently, strengthening the ties between the United States military and Jordanian Army.
The Company F Blackhearts, deployed aboard USS Dubuque, find the training valuable, especially given the terrain and climate of the Jordanian deserts, according to Sgt. Daniel N. Hoskins, squad leader, 2nd Platoon.
“Obviously this is a lot different than Camp Pendleton. It has a lot more jagged rocks to worry about and not as much cover as we’re used to back in the States,” said Hoskins, a native of Nebo, N.C.
Also, training alongside members of a foreign army, especially in the Middle East, gives further incentive to the Marines of Company F, said Hoskins.
“[Infinite Moonlight] shows camaraderie between our two countries because it shows that we can work together,” said Hoskins. “It never hurts to come out and observe some of the tactics from other countries. This gives us the opportunity to learn from each other.”
Aside from the intrinsic value of Infinite Moonlight as a bi-lateral training opportunity, the hard work of the Marines of Company F keeps them sharp for any possible future operations, continued Hoskins.
“Being with the [15th MEU] we know that at any moment we can be called to execute a mission, so we make sure that our skills are sharpened and refined,” said Hoskins. “That way, even with short notice, we can be confident and ready for any situation.”
During the training, Company F honed the basic infantry skills common to every Marine. Company-level planning translates into squad-level execution, according to 2nd Lt. David J. Kinzler, 2nd Platoon commander. The training emphasized leadership from the squad and fire-team level, sharpening the skills of Company F as a whole, continued Kinzler.
“The individual rifleman and the team leaders will get a larger sense of the planning and how their actions fit into the larger scheme of maneuver,” said Kinzler, a native of Darien, Conn. “These are basic infantry skills that a rifle company needs to be able to execute. We still have to train to what our basic mission is as a rifle platoon and rifle company.”
The training also strengthened the bonds between the individual Marines, brought together by hard work and cooperation found in a Marine infantry company, said Kinzler.
“Like any training event, living out in the middle of the desert and running live-fire ranges is a shared experience that helps us build cohesion,” Kinzler said.
The Camp Pendleton, Calif. based 15th MEU is comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and Sailors and is a forward deployed force of 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 exercise Infinite Moonlight at Al Qatranah, Jordan.