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'New England’s Own’ arrives in Afghanistan, prepares for operations

13 Sep 2011 | Cpl. Bryan Nygaard

During the first week of September, Marines with 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, a reserve infantry battalion based out of the New England area, conducted integration training aboard Camp Leatherneck, Helmand province, Afghanistan.

The training consisted of range operations, learning to escape overturned vehicles, countering improvised explosive devices and a series of briefs concerning rules of engagement and operational health and safety. The training is designed to acclimatize the incoming Marines to Afghanistan and prepare them for conducting operations.

“This training reinforces the habits of thought, habits of action that the Marines have been producing over the past four months of [pre-deployment] training to prepare them to go outside the wire,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christian David Noel, a native of Farmington, Maine, and the battalion gunner. “We’re really here to make sure we train, prepare and prep and are utilizing our weapon systems and performing the appropriate [tactics, techniques and procedures] to function in theater.”

The battalion, nicknamed “New England’s Own,” consists of roughly 700 Marines and sailors. Before deploying, the unit spent four months at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., training on individual and collective tasks before leaving for Afghanistan. This is 1/25’s first deployment to Afghanistan. Their last deployment as a battalion was to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2005.

The battalion will be replacing the Houston-based 1st Bn., 23rd Marines.