TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Marines with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment conducted a movement to contact exercise during Large Scale Exercise 15, Aug. 14–15, 2015.
The training helped the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade exercise command and control at the brigade level while allowing fire support teams from Alpha Company to improve their ability to perform battle drills in amphibious assault vehicles.
“The training is important to the company and the fire support teams,” said Cpl. Shawn McClenahan, a joint fires observer attached to the unit. “So that when we make contact with the enemy we know what to do, when to do it, and we can do everything needed as quick as possible.”
The training was a grueling 10-hour long movement to contact through the mountainous terrain inside the AAVs. The addition of air support aided the Marines to complete their mission. They were also aided by India Battery, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment’s 155 howitzers and 81 mm Mortars.
During the LSE-15 training the Marines were guided by evaluators, commonly known as coyotes, who let them know when enemies were nearby so that they could engage.
“Once we were given the signal that we were close to the enemy we ran our battle drill,” said Cpl. McClenahan. “We would run out of the AAV and we would locate our target, then we would start (talking) with our artillery to put them on target.”
After destroying the enemy targets in the area the companies were given a new location, where more targets were located. The companies pushed themselves through the sweltering heat and even adjusted their plan of action in order to successfully reach their new objective.
“We accomplished the mission,” said Capt. Raymond Lafleur, a forward air controller with the unit. “We had a plan in place but we weren’t afraid to deviate from the plan in order to accomplish the mission.”
LSE-15 is a service level assessment Marine Air Ground Task Force exercise conducted the MEB level. It is composed of all four elements of the MAGTF with a General Officer headquarters and live maneuver elements.