MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDELTON, Calif -- The ANGLICO Basic Course, also known as ABC, is a six-week course divided into three sections. It implements motor transportation, communications and call-for-fire techniques. Every Marine assigned to an ANGLICO unit is required to pass the course, regardless of rank or time in service.
Private First Class Keenan Tasker, a radio operator with 1st ANGLICO and Florence, Oregon native, participated in the ABC. It teaches every Marine within the unit the basics of all the jobs associated with the ANGLICO mission.
A typical ANGLICO unit specializes in coordinating artillery, naval gunfire and close air support for all branches of the U.S. military and allied forces. Operating in small teams, they direct and control air support for joint forces.
Master Sgt. Oscar Luna, the fire-support chief with 1st ANGLICO, said the goal is to make every Marine within the unit, no matter their military occupational specialty, able to join a team and operate effectively.
“We go out in 4 to 5-man teams, if we lose one Marine, that’s 25 percent of our team,” he said. “Until we can get a replacement, we may have to grab somebody from the headquarters unit and get them up to speed with what we do.”
Each team is comprised of forward observers, radio operators and a joint tactical air controller. The course teaches a basic set of skills to the Marines, which provides a common platform.
“At the end of the course, we are not expecting these Marines to be experts,” said Luna. “If they can retain the basics, it will make their transition easier when we need them.”
The course can provide Marines, who may potentially be on the front lines together, a chance to cross train with each other and aid in building a better sense of unit cohesion.
“Since I’m a radio operator, I can teach a forward observer the basics of what I do and he can do the same for me,” Tasker said.
This course is one of many opportunities for Marines to come together as a unit and learn how other Marines operate, which in turn can be a beneficial part of training.
“We are always working to keep this training up to date. Marines need to be prepared for anything,” Luna said, “When they graduate they will have a basic understanding of what is expected to join one of our teams. We throw a lot of information at them, but in the end, it all works out for the best.”