Photo Information

Marines from 3rd Platoon, Blackfoot Co., 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, move to their objective during a training exercise conducted with the Special Operations Training Group aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The training operation was in preparation for 3/5’s deployment with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Seth Starr

SOTG makes 3/5 better asset for 31st MEU

20 Jan 2014 | Lance Cpl. Seth Starr

Special Operations Training Group hosted a mounted raid for Marines from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines and an attachment from 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15, to prepare for their assignment to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
SOTG’s role facilitates training for units across the Marine Corps to better enhance combat effectiveness and provide additional training in preparation for deployments. 

Sgt. Peter Monfeli, staff noncommissioned officer in charge of the Tactical Recovery of Aircraft Personnel, said that realism is what they train Marines for.

“The goal was to expose them to scenarios that we’ve painted to be relevant in the theaters that they may find themselves operating in as part of the 31st MEU,” said Monfeli.

The scenario set for 3/5 and 3rd LAR involved rendering aid to the Philippine government that requested assistance against a growing insurgency.

“Initially we had intelligence that there were eight to 12 men on an objective,” said 1st Lt. George Eggers from 3rd LAR. “We came in on the objective and found out through a reconnaissance and surveillance team that instead of twelve men they now had twenty hostiles on the objective.”

SOTG instructors equip Marines coming through the course with the knowledge they require to succeed — from classroom instruction and evaluation to practical application and hands on experience.

“It’s phenomenally helpful, specifically for our NCOs,” said Eggers. “This is a refresher for them, but they will be able to emulate the SOTG staff NCOs and pass on knowledge to junior Marines to hone the skill that makes us so successful on deployment.”

Instructors from SOTG develop and implement with the sense of realism in scenarios that could potentially present themselves to Marines worldwide.

“With the mission set currently changing overseas we try and keep things real and current,” said Monfeli. “The better we can prepare them for going overseas the better asset they will become for higher level commanders to use if and when situations arise.”