Photo Information

Marines with 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, conduct notional field medical care during a Special Operations Training Group raid aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 5, 2014. Field medical care is an essential part of caring for injured Marines on the battlefield in a deployed environment.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray

SOTG: Training for success

7 Aug 2014 | Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray

Marines with Special Operations Training Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, organized a tactical combat raid with Marines from 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., August 5, 2014.

SOTG organizes raids and training events for Marine units on a regular basis to prepare Marines and other services for deployments.

Master Sgt. Ryan Nuvill, SOTG operations chief, designed the training to perfect how units conduct raids and call for support-by-fire.

“This is some of the most important training that we can give to a unit before they deploy,” said Nuvill. “The ability to successfully search for and eliminate enemy combatants during a raid, while sustaining minimal casualties, is the essence of what we do.”

Marines from 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Mar. Div., supported the exercise by transporting troops to and from their primary positions in amphibious assault vehicles. 

The raid allowed the Marines utilized squad tactics to assault an enemy hideout while receiving covering fire from Marines with automatic weapons from a ridge overlooking the area. 

Cpl. Daniel Kitchens, a rifleman with 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, said the training ensured the battalion is the best fighting force it can be.

“Working with SOTG to conduct this raid has been a great opportunity for us,” said Kitchens. “These guys are real veterans of the field and really have helped us with understanding the different raid methods and seeing how a raid is organized.”

The exercise incorporated field-medical care by designating Marines to act as casualties, making it necessary for their comrades to notionally provide care and call in for evacuations.

“We try to throw as many curve balls at these guys as we can during the raid,” said Nuvill. “That way we can give them the best training experience possible and we know when they go into a real raid while deployed, they will be ready to respond quickly to any scenario that comes along.”

While it’s SOTG that organizes the raid training, the Marines going through the exercise determine its success. 

"The Marines out here who lay down suppressing fire, run to the objective and complete the mission without any hesitation are the reason we are so successful on the battlefield,” said Nuvill. “These Marines know their job very well and I couldn’t be happier with how quickly and effectively they responded during the training.”