In a scene straight from a war movie: Near a winding river where helicopters loom overhead, Marines, tired from lack of sleep and wet from the previous night’s rain, stand ready and eager to get underway with the mission.
Forty Marines with Marine Special Operations Advisor Group’s six-month student pipeline are conducting a 12-day light-infantry tactics training package, referred to as LIT training, at Mike Bravo training area here, from Aug. 20 until Friday. The training is part of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command’s continuous preparation for Foreign Internal Defense missions.
“Everything in the training is scenario driven and the package began with two days of classes on operation and patrol orders,” said Capt. Ted A. Bucierka, LIT training officer-in-charge. “We try our best to simulate what these Marines might come across while deployed.”
The LIT training includes a dead of night insertion by boat into hostile territory as well as other events such as night raid operations, combat patrols, ambushes, assaults and a combination of movement and live-fire exercises. The SOF Marines also learn various knife and baton combat techniques to help them in close-combat situations
Throughout the training, the Marines battle their way through sleep deprivation, complete more than 45 miles of movement on foot and are self-sustained while in a hostile environment.
“The true essence of light infantry is a self-sustained mobile force that has the ability to accomplish a wide variety of missions without the help of logistics and communication,” explained Bucierka, a native of Eden, N.Y. “These Marines must be physically and mentally able to function if isolated in a foreign environment.”
“These Marines need to be physically fit to accomplish their goals while in country,” explained Staff Sgt. Trevor S. Wargo, MSOAG’s non-commissioned officer-in-charge of physical fitness for the pipeline students. “This training also prepares them for the exhaustion they might feel while deployed.”
Throughout the pipeline, the Marines complete 20 distinct training packages to prepare for a variety of special operations missions in foreign countries. These packages include hundreds of hours of weapons, language and culture training and a variety of teaching techniques necessary to pass skills on to friendly foreign nations.
“Because these Marines will be teaching others, they need to know the ins and outs of what they will be teaching,” said Wargo, a native of Sulphur, La. “We want them to be proficient and, when in country, represent the Marine Corps as best as possible.”
Wargo believes the students are progressing well and the intensity and attitude these students have will help them successfully accomplish their missions when deployed to a foreign nation.
“With this training package, the Marines will have a greater knowledge of light-infantry tactics and self sustainment and will be able to accomplish their missions while in a hostile environment,” said Bucierka.
When this group of pipeline students graduates in December, MSOAG will have 15 well-trained and equipped 11-man teams ready to receive and successfully execute Special Operations missions.
Active duty Marines and Navy corpsman willing to accept the challenge of joining MARSOC are encouraged to contact the Marine Special Operations School at (910)-450-2720/2721 (DSN 750-2720/2721) or e-mail at MSOS.A&S@USMC.mil. For more information about how to join MARSOC, visit us online at www.marsoc.usmc.mil/recruiting.