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Fox Company BLT 2/1 Trains for Theater Cooperation


By Cpl. Demetrius Morgan
United States Marine Corps

March 21, 2014 - FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. --Marines with Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines (BLT 2/1), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted a Special Operation Training Group exercise as part of Realistic Urban Training Marine Expeditionary Unit (RUTMEUEX) 14-1 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., March 18, to hone their skills and tactics while training with role players, who injected realism into the exercise. SOTG instructors tasked Marines with 2/1 to provide instruction on Marine Corps basic tactics to individuals with no prior infantry training. Some of these tactics included were: clearing rooms, pivot drills with their designated marksmanship weapon and using nonverbal signals to move from point to point.

One of the obstacles Marines may face in foreign countries is working through the language barrier. To effectively simulate a foreign environment, the role players were not allowed to speak any English. This forces Marines to communicate and respond to body language and hand gestures in order to gather information about the battlefield they are in, which is crucial to mission success.

A small ceremony was conducted following the training to congratulate each member individually and thank them for participating in the exercise. After the training was done, Marines shared a meal with the foreign role players to build rapport.

"The ceremony is basically a way of saying thanks," said 1st Lt. Jacob Lunsford, a platoon commander with 2/1. "We do it so that we show them hospitality. It's just another way we can help build a relationship with them and show them how much we appreciate what they do for us."

This training is just one of many evolutions that the MEU is conducting during RUTMEUEX to prepare for their scheduled deployment later this summer.

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