COMBINED ARMS TRAINING CENTER CAMP FUJI, Japan -- Combat Logistics Company 36 Marines and augments engaged in Military Operations on Urban Terrain to simulate real world operations, increase weapon proficiency and enhance leadership skills during Exercise Dragon Fire 2014 at Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, Japan, July 17.
Dragon Fire is CLC-36’s annual Battle Skills Training exercise that focuses on improving the individual and collective combat skills of CLC-36 service members with an emphasis on weapons familiarization training.
Staff Sgt. Nathan Southwick, a Tactical Readiness and Training instructor with Combat Logistics Regiment 37, is with an infantrymen group that assists various units within the 3rd Marine Logistics Group.
“Marines have to be prepared for any type of circumstance, one of those is going inside a house and clearing it,” said Southwick. “We need to be prepared to efficiently clear room to room, eliminate enemy threats and secure the area.”
Southwick said it’s imperative for Marines to understand the process on how to most efficiently clear a room while minimizing the chance of casualties.
“The most important thing to realize when clearing a house or building is that the enemy could be anywhere: behind a couch, hiding in a corner or hanging in the rafters,” said Southwick. “You have to go in with the mindset that the enemy can be anywhere and they’re probably going to be well bunkered down, so you have to move with a sense of urgency, get out of the danger areas and ensure the rooms are completely cleared.”
Sgt. Angelo Powers, a supply administrator and 1st platoon commander with CLC-36, said this training is important because urban operations are the future of modern warfare.
Powers continued to say some tactics Marines learned were basic entry through windows, how to employ a grenade to clear rooms and muzzle awareness. Extra emphasis was placed on communication skills and its impact on being able to effectively lead.
“Something we teach in the Marine Corps is that anybody can be a leader,” said Powers. “The overall objective of this two-day training event was for Marines to become efficient in MOUT and for junior Marines to learn to take command of a situation when their leaders become causalities. It doesn’t matter about rank or billet, what matters is making sure every Marine makes it home.”