Photo Information

Marines with Truck Company, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, standby for explosive ordnance disposal to arrive while keeping vigilant for possible enemy combatants during a motorized operations course aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., July 30. The Marines performed the exercise to better themselves in the event of a real-life scenario.

Photo by Sgt. Owen Kimbrel

Rough Riders cruise through motorized operations course

3 Aug 2015 | Sgt. Owen Kimbrel 3rd Marine Division

Marines with Truck Company, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, readied their weapon systems and conducted vehicle inspections before performing an evaluated motorized operations course (MOC) aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., July 30.

The training allowed the Marines to perform in scenarios they might face in forward deployed situations.

The Marines were evaluated on multiple areas to ensure they were prepared in real-life scenarios. The “Rough Riders” went through the proper steps in the event of convoy operations, possible improvised explosive devices, unblocked ambushes and IED strikes with casualties. 

“This type of training is important because it gives us the opportunity to stay in a tactical mindset,” said 1st Lt. Daphne Williams, platoon commander for Truck Company. “These are the only ranges that give us a realistic look at what we would be dealing with if we were deployed in country, and it allows us to practice our immediate action drills in real time so we are prepared in a real-life situation.”

The Marines conducted each exercise under the vigilant eye of course evaluators, known as coyotes. The coyotes closely follow the Marines taking notes on which operations were effective and ineffective. The Marines were able to see how efficient they were from employing the M240B medium machinegun during an ambush to communicating grid locations with aircraft for casualty evacuation. Once the training scenarios ceased, the Marines were able to receive vital feedback on their performance. 

“I love it here, it’s really good training,” said Cpl. Matthew Ezell, a vehicle commander with Truck Company. “The more times we reiterate tactics and standard operating procedures to our Marines, it makes us better.”

While the training gave the Marines the opportunity to see where they were proficient, more importantly, it showed them where they needed to focus their attention. 

Overall, the Rough Riders agreed the training reinforced their understanding of standard operating procedures and honed their tactical mindset—ultimately preparing them should they be forward deployed.