‘Island Warriors’ splash
Marines from Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, executed water-training exercises with amphibious assault vehicles in Kaneohe Bay near the Pacific War Memorial, June 4, 2013.
‘Island Warriors’ splash, assault during water-training exercise
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII — Marines from Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, executed water-training exercises with amphibious assault vehicles in Kaneohe Bay near the Pacific War Memorial, June 4, 2013.
Each platoon took separate turns boarding the AAVs, which were piloted by Marines of Combat Assault Company, 3rd Marines.
After the platoons filled three to four vehicles, the Marines were carried out into Kaneohe Bay approximately 500 meters from the shoreline. From there the AAVs turned around and drove back to shore for the second portion of training at Boondocker Training Area.
“The Marines are getting familiar with the water and the vehicles,” said 1st Lt. Kyle Durant, platoon commander of AAV platoon, Combat Assault Company, 3rd Marines. “The purpose of this exercise is to help the Marines better understand how to use the vehicles.”
During first platoon’s amphibious training, one of the AAVs lost power, forcing the Marines from the other AAVs to adapt and overcome. Marines tied two ropes to the front of the broken-down AAV and towed it back to the shoreline to assess the vehicle and continue training.
“It’s a good feeling to see the Marines come up with a solution to a problem they didn’t expect to happen,” Durant said. “It gives them a sense of knowing what kind of problems could occur on the battlefield, and the problems they face today will help prepare them for that.”
The role of the CAC Marines is to transport infantry units while communicating with other AAVs to address potential threats.
“Our units are basically on standby when we’re in an AAV,” said Lance Cpl. Melbin Hall, a rifleman with 2nd Bn., 3rd Marines. “In case of enemy fire, we’ve got guys stationed by the hatches to man the MK19 and .50-caliber machine guns.”
Once the AAVs reached the shoreline, the crew conducted a quick maintenance check before carrying the platoon aboard to the military operations on urban terrain compound at Boondocker Training Area to perform assault raids and house-to-house clearing. At the MOUT town, the AAVs lowered their doors and Marines practiced exiting and boarding procedures.
“This exercise is different than our usual MOUT town raids,” said Pfc. Konstantin Alekhanov, a rifleman with 2nd Bn., 3rd Marines. “It’s a new experience learning how to exit the AAV with your fire team and knowing where to move to once you’re out in the open.”
The platoon separated into individual fire teams and took turns raiding the entire compound. The fire teams also communicated with each other via radio as they maneuvered through the streets. Upon finishing their assault on the compound, the Marines withdrew to the AAVs while providing cover for each other.
“The water training gives us an opportunity to learn something new while completing routine training, like raiding the MOUT town,” Alekhanov said. “I think everyone is eager to complete this training and increase our overall combat proficiency.”