MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Twenty-two Marines with the Disbursing Office with Company A, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base, conducted a field exercise to refresh their Marines’ basic infantry skills here Dec. 7.
The Marines were inserted by CH-53E Super Stallion flown by members of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron-461, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, where they received classes on helicopter operations, security, hand and arm signals and squad formations, said Sgt. Evan M. Schwend, the travel services noncommissioned officer in charge with the Disbursing office.
“It gives them a little more of an edge and it keeps them fresh,” said Schwend. “You never know when you could deploy and if they do go they will be a little more prepared.”
The Marines went on patrol conducted a simulated mission to rescue a downed pilot and get back to the landing zone for extraction, said Schwend.
Not only was the training good for the enlisted Marines it was also good for their officer in charge.
“This training gives me a chance to observe my small unit leadership and it gives those Marines a chance to step up and take charge,” Capt. Thomas Sims, assistant disbursing officer for Marine Corps Installations-East. “This training also gets the Marines out of their normal environment and gets them where they need to be.”
During the simulated mission the Marines received small arms fire from aggressors, while they carried the injured pilot back to the landing zone. The Marines small unit leadership was also tested when their squad leader was taken out of the picture and learned a valuable lesson about communication and teamwork, said Schwend.
“I think it’s great that we get to come out and do stuff like this,” said Cpl. Nolen Dice, a travel NCO with the Disbursing Office. “This is the kind of stuff you join up for.”