Fort Pickett, Va -- FORT PICKETT, Va. –Not a sound can be heard while Marines slowly navigate around buildings using only hand signals to communicate. These Marines with 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, participated in a military operation in urban terrain exercise during a deployment for training at Fort Pickett, Va., Dec. 6, 2016.
During the training, the Marines made their way through the mock village clearing buildings of any enemy presence while sweeping for improvised explosive devices and ensuring that the population, simulated by role players, was secure.
“We conduct these kind of training missions to improve upon our ability to react in situations where IEDs may be present,” said Lance Cpl. Quinn R. Knauer, a rifleman with the unit. “The staff non-commissioned officers only want to see us build upon our skillsets, and to prevent the least number of casualties and mission success.”
The training included interaction with role players who filled the position of the indigenous population. Marines used a translator to communicate with the role players to simulate real-world interactions with foreigners.
“This type of training is not only good for exposing our new Marines to this type of environment, but it also helps us build upon our fundamental skills when sweeping for IEDs,” said Cpl. Timothy E. Buntting, a rifleman with the unit. “Already, I see improvement with my Marines. They are learning to react faster and think on their feet.”