15th MEU News
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U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Jorge Calderon patrols during a security element course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Nov. 6 2014. Calderon is a platoon sergeant with Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. This three-week course is designed to improve the speed and accuracy of the Marines that will make up the maritime raid force’s security element when the 15th MEU deploys in the spring. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Elize Mckelvey/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Elize McKelvey

Marines sharpen skills during security element course

12 Nov 2014 | Cpl. Anna Albrecht 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines with Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Combat Logistics Battalion 15 and the Force Reconnaissance Detachment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, began a security element course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014.

This three-week course is 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.

The security element course is filled with Marines with many different skill sets and backgrounds. Some Marines were more focused on breaking bad habits while others were focused on learning new material they had not been exposed to before.

Marine Cpl. Houston Davis, a squad leader with BLT 3/1, explained how this training was very beneficial to himself and his newer Marines. This time working together allowed them to work, in a controlled environment, on some of the problem areas they noticed.

“We all had to work on our own flaws,” said Davis, “Some [improvements] were keeping distribution in the squad, keeping our weapons up on the movement, keeping security and of course being accurate with our close-quarters shooting.”

Private First Class Zachary Dorothy, an assistant gunner with BLT 3/1 explained that this course taught him a lot and helped them grow as a team and increase their skill levels.

“Before coming to this course, I had absolutely no experience with this kind of training,” said Dorothy, “This helped me get rid of any bad habits and got me out of my comfort zone going into buildings without knowing what’s on the other side.”

The Marines always remembered to push past their comfort zones – whether it was physically shooting faster or going into the unknown. Davis said, after this training, he feels more equipped for the MEU’s deployment.

“I think everyone is a lot more prepared for the MEU,” said Davis. “I learned close-quarters shooting, setting up my gear how it should be, holding my weapon right, digging corners, and clearing rooms. All of that training will benefit us because that’s what we will be doing on deployment.”

The final exercise will require these Marines to plan and complete a raid successfully. Further workups with the 15th MEU will take them more in depth with more complex missions. In the end they will be ready for anything that comes at them during deployment.

15th Marine Expeditionary Unit