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A U.S. Marine with 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, participates in fire team drills during a Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 24, 2016. Marines with the unit tested their combat readiness and warfighting capabilities in preparation for an upcoming deployment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Clemente C. Garcia)

Photo by Sgt. Clemente Garcia

3d Bn, 8th Marines conduct pre-deployment training

28 Oct 2016 | Sgt. Clemente C. Garcia II Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment began the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation across multiple training areas on Camp Lejeune, Oct. 24, 2016.

The MCCRE is a five-day exercise, testing the unit’s warfighting capabilities and readiness for combat prior to deploying.

“It’s really a test of our ability as a battalion to plan and then execute with several adjacent supporting agencies across a Marine Air Ground Task Force,” said Capt. Joshua White, the assistant operations officer from 3rd Bn., 8th Marines.

Through urban warfare drills, simulated casualty care, noncombatant evacuation operations and offensive and defensive exercises, the unit is ensuring they will be ready if and when real-world crises occur.

"Since our mission requires us to be able to respond to a multiple range of scenarios the MCCRE is designed to ensure we are ready to accomplish any assigned mission," said Sgt. Hector L. Seclendejesus, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense specialist with 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines.

The MCCRE is also an opportunity for young Marines for the battalion to get experience in small-unit leadership, said White. “We’ve asked some young Marines to step up into key billets,” said White. “This is really a test of their ability to step up and really perform above and beyond their paygrade. They have done well so far.”

Reconnaissance, intelligence, air and other assets played a major part in the training, and are key to the support of an infantry battalion. White said one of the main challenges is working with a lot of units they have not worked with much before.

“Every training evolution with this many engaged assets has its own challenges,” said White. “So far, I’m happy with where we are.”

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