They know the drill
Stars and Stripes
Members of a quick reaction force perfected their moves recently at Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq. Their training scenario was: A bomb went off, injuring two servicemembers about one and a half hours away by air. The Marines, with Company D, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, were to pick up their gear, race outside, put it on, and go to a mock helicopter landing pad. Afterward, 1st Lt. James Smith told the Marines they had made it to the pad in 25 "fast and smooth" minutes. The force can prepare for a mission with no notice in an hour, or about half an hour if the members are on standby.
Cpl. Jon Everett, Sgt. Joshua Stath and Hospitalman Anthony Leveque (left to right) consult a map and talk about the mock bomb blast with injuries they’ll respond to during a drill. They're with Company D, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, a quick response team at Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq.
First Lt. James Smith tells Marines at the end of a drill that they grabbed their gear, dressed, and made it to the helicopter landing pad in 25 “fast and smooth” minutes. The quick response force can prepare for a mission with no notice in an hour, or about half an hour if they’re on standby.
Staff Sgt. Thomas Fuhrmeister briefs members of a quick reaction team during a drill about the situation they’ll be responding to — a mock bomb blast that injured two servicemembers, about 1½-hour flight away.
A Marine with the Quick Reaction Force picks up his gear and races outside to put it on during a drill. The Marines respond to troops throughout the region who are caught in distress situations, usually in remote areas. Every few days, they practice each step of getting ready for a mission, from getting the phone call telling them where to go, to putting on their gear and boarding a helicopter.
Sgt. Matt Aldridge inspects the gear on a Marine before they leave their headquarters during a drill. Both Marines are members of a quick reaction force at Al Asad Air Base.
Marines with a quick reaction force at Al Asad Air Base walk to a mock landing pad during a drill last week. The QRF holds drills every few days to practice what they’d do if a call came in from troops in the region who had been ambushed, hit by an IED, or were in some other kind of distress. Each Marine carries two days’ worth of water and food.
Marines in a quick reaction force unit at Al Asad Air Base put on their gear during a drill last week. The QRF responds to units in distress, usually in remote areas, and leaves within an hour of getting a call that it is needed.