CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Military vehicles rumbled down the road as the Marines inside watched the terrain around them vigilantly. Corporal Taylor Barnes, a motor transport operator with 2nd Platoon, Truck Company, Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division, shouted commands at pedestrians in the area. “Move away from the road! This is a secure area!”
All of this was part of a convoy operations training exercise with Marines from 2nd Plt., Truck Co., Headquarters Bn., 1st Marine Division aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, March 3, 2015.
The training exercise was conducted to help prepare the platoon’s junior Marines for leadership roles and improve their understanding of how to conduct convoy operations while in a deployed environment.
“We have a few new Marines in our unit who don’t have as much experience on the job as a lot of us,” Barnes said. “This is our way of trying to get them up to speed with our operating procedures, while giving our more experienced Marines a chance to teach and learn new roles they might not be as comfortable with.”
The training put the Marines through multiple scenarios, including simulated hostile gunfire and simulated vehicle malfunctions.
Private First Class Marcus Evans, a motor transport operator with 2nd Platoon, said the training showed him parts of his job he hadn’t seen before.
“With all of the scenarios that we went over, the simulated hostile gunfire was my favorite,” Evans said. “It demonstrated how we would react if we were to take fire while deployed and it also added a different level of stress to the training that a lot of junior Marines probably didn’t realize before.”
The training also integrated a vehicle malfunction scenario in which the Marines were required to hook up to the downed vehicle to remove it from a potentially hostile environment.
“Whenever our platoon comes out to do any kind of convoy operations, we try to incorporate as many realistic scenarios as possible so our Marines have to stay on their toes,” Barnes said. “After we run through the scenarios we discuss what went right and what could have gone better so we are always learning something new.”
With this training exercise, the Marines aimed to improve the unit’s readiness to support any mission they may be tasked with and helped prepare its junior Marines to take on new roles as leaders for future deployments.