CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Marines with 9th Communication Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, conducted grenade training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 14, 2014. The communication Marines were trained by 1st Marine Division Schools as part of an annual training event to prepare them to react to various combat situations with confidence.
Communication Marines don’t always get the combat training that is necessary, but Capt. Michael Trombitas, the company B commander for 9th Comm. Bn., is doing his part to make sure that changes.
“I organize this training as often as I can to build proficiency and instill confidence in the Marines,” said Trombitas. “I want to make sure they are fully prepared to engage the enemy.”
The 9th Comm. Bn. Marines need to be ready to support all the Marines in I MEF.
The average day for these Marines is far from that of an infantryman. Trombitas said that they are often attached to infantry battalions and need to be prepared for when it happens.
“This training differs from their usual workflow,” said Trombitas. “It reminds them that as Marines their main function is to fight America’s battles.”
Sergeant Joseph Vickers, an instructor at 1st Marine Division Schools said the training is crucial for all Marines and can be a game changer on the battlefield.
“Knowing how to utilize this weapon system is vital for any Marine,” said Vickers. “It’s a very basic weapon but it’s versatile and can really change the outcome of a combat situation.”
This small deadly weapon system is easy to train with. Vickers explained that they took the Marines through one at a time to re-teach them the procedure of throwing a grenade.
After reviewing the procedures and being cleared by the instructors, the Marines threw live grenades down range.
“The Marines started the training by throwing simulated grenades and getting the feel for them,” said Vickers. “After that, they moved to live grenades and got to see their effects first hand.”
Though these Marines can’t get training like this all the time, Vickers said, they do their best to make sure they are proficient with the weapon system.
“Practice makes perfect,” said Vickers, “and that’s what we are aiming for here.”