31st MEU uses Guam's jungle and urban settings for training
Okinawa-based Marines and sailors have been on Guam since last week for semi-annual training.
The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived on Guam in late January and kicked off its “MEU Exercise.” The unit currently is working toward special operations capable certification, according to a Marine news release.
In one of the most recent training exercises, troops from Company G, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, conducted jungle ambush patrols on the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station.
“We’ve been doing more of these patrols because we need to be ready if we go to war in the jungle,” Lance Cpl. Jose Angulo, a 20-year-old San Francisco native and fire team leader, was quoted in the release as saying. “But a lot of these skills apply to urban combat, too.
“The big key to an ambush is discipline,” Angulo said. “Noise, movement, light — these are all things that can give you away to the enemy.”
Thirty minutes after setting the training ambush, four Marines acting as an enemy reconnaissance patrol ventured down the trail, the release stated. Squad leader Cpl. Kenneth Oelrich, 22, from Gainesville, Fla., initiated the attack as soon as the center of the enemy patrol entered the “kill zone.”
After the ambush, it was declared that 3rd Platoon suffered one “walking-wounded casualty” while the “enemy” suffered three and the fourth was taken in for interrogation.
“This patrol went really well, which is good for the new guys to see,” Angulo said. “They’ve practiced a lot of conventional warfare tactics so it was great training for them to try some unconventional methods.”
While Company G was busy setting their trap, fellow 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment Company E spent the day practicing military operations in an urban terrain at Andersen South Air Force Installation, according to a separate release.
The training allowed the Marines to “hone their skills and the opportunity to demonstrate their combined arms capabilities,” the release stated.
The Marines attacked a simulated enemy by using close air support from the 31st MEU’s aviation combat element, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (Reinforced). AH-1W Super Cobra attack and UH-1N Huey utility helicopters were used in the training, as well as amphibious assault vehicles that provided additional fire and maneuver capabilities to support the Marines as they cleared houses.