News Column

LAAD Marines Hone Patrolling, Weapons Skills

July 15, 2014



CHERRY POINT, N.C., July 15 -- The U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point issued the following news:

Alpha Battery, 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion conducted patrolling and military operations on urban terrain training at Marine Corps Outlying Field Atlantic July 7-11 in preparation for security and ground force missions.

2nd LAAD's primary responsibly is ground-base air defense. The battalion recently was tasked to serve as a security asset for Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 during an upcoming deployment.

"We are refreshing our secondary responsibility as a ground combat security force," said Capt. Matthew Sladek, commanding officer of Alpha Battery.

The Marines started their days with a patrol to the MOUT villages where they trained to assault hostile compounds with mock enemy combatants.

"During the past decade, both LAAD battalions have been assigned the task of providing air base ground defense in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Sladek. "Limited room clearing is a role that may need to be met while deployed and that is what the Marines are training on this week."

The Marines used different methods of entry into buildings and trained to perfect their room clearing abilities. Room clearing is when a team of Marines enter a building with high probability of hostile forces in an attempt to neutralize the threat.

"The most important thing to remember is communication," said Sgt. Chris Andrews, a section leader with the battery.

"The MOUT town gave us more variety in our training," said Andrews. "Normally if we wanted to do room clearing back at (Cherry Point) the best we could work with is barracks rooms and that doesn't provide much realism."

The training was a change of pace for the battery, allowing them to get away from the monotony of everyday training at the air station, said Cpl. Ryan Lefebvre, a team leader with the battery.

"It's a good switch for us," said Lefebvre. "The training gives us a chance to practice our entire job, not just the ground-base air defense."

The more practice the battery has, the smoother the movements and techniques will become, said Lefebvre.

"A big part of this training was building camaraderie among the Marines, building the brotherhood for which the Marine Corps is known for," said Andrews. "Having Marines who feel comfortable with each other reinforces unit cohesion and assists in completing the mission."

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