I MEF Marines prepare for Afghanistan

19 Aug 2011 | Sgt. Marcy Sanchez

Marines with I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group begin their pre-deployment training, Aug. 19.

The Pre-deployment Training Program is a requirement for all Marines deploying to Afghanistan. It encompasses all the common skills Marines learn early in their careers while at Marine Combat Training and Marine Corps Boot Camp.

“It gives them a baseline of things they need to know prior to deploying on how to not only keep themselves alive but keep other Marines alive,” said Gunnery Sgt. Daniel W. Tremore, pre-depoyment training coordinator for I MHG. “They get exposure to things they have never had to deal with before and learn how to deal with it.”

The purpose of PTP is to get Marines back into that combat mindset as basic as possible, said Tremore, from Greenlake, Wis. Every Marine is a rifleman but not every Marine needs to be an infantryman.

PTP also adds classes that some might find useful while in foreign lands. Classes during the week-long PTP course include; battlefield medicine, rules of engagement, cultural awareness, counter improvised explosive device training, call for medical evacuation, foreign weapons training and some live fire exercises.

“The material is useful and good to know,” said Cpl. David J. Peters, a signals intelligence analyst with I MHG. “There are definitely possibilities that Marines will use this training while on deployment.”

Although not all Marines will fire a machine gun or have to treat a casualty while on deployment, everyone takes something away from the training.

“At some point every Marine will use the training in some shape or form,” Tremore said. “There’s no way to tell what your duties will be, it all depends on the situation.”

Eleven separate groups will go through the training prior to deploying. This allows all Marines deploying to receive the same training and be able to fill in multiple positions if needed.

“You got to pull your weight,” Tremore said. “Whether you find yourself standing post at a [Forward Operating Base] or in a convoy you need to know what to do.

I MEF (FWD) will assume command of all Marine operations throughout southern Afghanistan and begin its year-long deployment in spring 2012.