U.S. Marines Conduct Training Raid

ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Douglas Smith, radio operator from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, writes down information for a medical evacuation call during a training exercise at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. Smith is originally from Syracuse, New York. The 22nd MEU conducted a raid on a simulated improvised explosive device factory to sharpen their skills of overcoming an objective in a timely matter. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence) CJTF-HOA Photo ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Douglas Smith, radio operator from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, writes down information for a medical evacuation call during a training exercise at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. Smith is originally from Syracuse, New York. The 22nd MEU conducted a raid on a simulated improvised explosive device factory to sharpen their skills of overcoming an objective in a timely matter. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence)
ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Roger Walker and Sergeant Unberto Rangel, explosive ordinance disposal technicians with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, provide rear security during a training mission at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. Walker is originally from Martinsburg, West Virginia, and Rangel is from Bay City, Texas. The 22nd MEU conducted a raid on a simulated improvised explosive device factory. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence) CJTF-HOA Photo ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Roger Walker and Sergeant Unberto Rangel, explosive ordinance disposal technicians with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, provide rear security during a training mission at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. Walker is originally from Martinsburg, West Virginia, and Rangel is from Bay City, Texas. The 22nd MEU conducted a raid on a simulated improvised explosive device factory. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence)
ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - U.S. Marines from the Battalion Landing Team 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit assault a simulated improvised explosive device factory at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. The 22nd MEU conducted an exercise where it assaulted an objective. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence) CJTF-HOA Photo ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - U.S. Marines from the Battalion Landing Team 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit assault a simulated improvised explosive device factory at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. The 22nd MEU conducted an exercise where it assaulted an objective. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence)
ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - U.S. Marines from the Battalion Landing Team 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit carry a simulated casualty to the landing zone after assaulting a simulated improvised explosive device factory at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. The 22nd MEU is a quick reaction force trained to deploy quickly into almost any place in the world at a moment's notice. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence) CJTF-HOA Photo ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - U.S. Marines from the Battalion Landing Team 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit carry a simulated casualty to the landing zone after assaulting a simulated improvised explosive device factory at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. The 22nd MEU is a quick reaction force trained to deploy quickly into almost any place in the world at a moment's notice. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence)
ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - A member of the U.S. Marine Corps opposing forces looks through his scope as the Battalion Landing Team 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit assaults an objective during a training exercise at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. The 22nd MEU conducted a training raid where they collected site exploitation and intelligence from the enemy. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence) CJTF-HOA Photo ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - A member of the U.S. Marine Corps opposing forces looks through his scope as the Battalion Landing Team 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit assaults an objective during a training exercise at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. The 22nd MEU conducted a training raid where they collected site exploitation and intelligence from the enemy. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence)
ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - U.S. Marines from the Battalion Landing Team 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit run off a V-22 Osprey during a training mission at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. The 22nd MEU conducted a training exercise requiring them to assault an objective and complete tactical site exploitation. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence) CJTF-HOA Photo ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - U.S. Marines from the Battalion Landing Team 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit run off a V-22 Osprey during a training mission at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. The 22nd MEU conducted a training exercise requiring them to assault an objective and complete tactical site exploitation. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence)
ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Chaichana Kulvanish, a platoon sergeant with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, acts as an opposing force member as U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Derrick Higgs and Bradley Friang, both infantrymen with 22nd MEU, approach him at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. Kulvanish is originally from Bellevue, Washington; Higgs from Middletown, Virginia and Friang from Cary, North Carolina. The 22nd MEU conducted a raid as a final exercise before making their way back to the U.S. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence) CJTF-HOA Photo ARTA RANGE, Djibouti (Dec. 28, 2011) - U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Chaichana Kulvanish, a platoon sergeant with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, acts as an opposing force member as U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Derrick Higgs and Bradley Friang, both infantrymen with 22nd MEU, approach him at a range near Arta, Djibouti, December 28. Kulvanish is originally from Bellevue, Washington; Higgs from Middletown, Virginia and Friang from Cary, North Carolina. The 22nd MEU conducted a raid as a final exercise before making their way back to the U.S. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence)

"Marines are America's '911 force,'" said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Eric Steidl, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit commander, as he stood atop an overlook patiently waiting for the Marines from the Battalion Landing Team 22nd MEU to begin their assault on the objective.

On this day, the Battalion Landing Team's training objective was to conduct a raid in an area containing a simulated improvised explosive device factory, while collecting as much information as possible from opposing forces.

"We needed to ensure the tactical site exploitation conducted on scene was thorough," said U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant William Peek, 3rd Platoon commander.

U.S. Marines have been the nation's premier response force whenever they are called upon, said Steidl. Their training keeps them sharp, as evidenced by the simulated mission Steidl oversaw from his hilltop vantage point.

"We do this type of training to make sure that at a moment's notice, when the commander calls us, we can execute a near flawless plan," said U.S. Marine Corps Captain Justin Bellman, raid force commander.

Being able to react quickly and hit objectives in situations comes with endless training, said U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Douglas Smith, radio operator. Eventually, everything the Marines are taught becomes muscle memory.

"It's stuck in your brain," said Smith. "It's almost like brushing your teeth every day. You just do it."

The constant training not only becomes automatic, but it improves the Marines' abilities to anticipate orders, said U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Roger Walker, explosive ordnance disposal technician.

"You need to know what to do and when to do it without being told," said Walker. "As we were assaulting the objective, very few commands were given."

Fewer commands allow for improved mission success rates, said Bellman.

"We can overwhelm the enemy, we can destroy everything that's on the objective," he said. "We can also quickly withdraw back to the ship without leaving a trace that we were here."

"This raid was not an easy task by any stretch," Steidl said. "But I have no doubt the Marines will always execute with speed and precision."

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U.S. Marines Conduct Training Raid

"Marines are America's '911 force,'" said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Eric Steidl, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit commander, as he stood atop an overlook patiently waiting for the Marines from the Battalion Landing Team 22nd MEU to begin their assault on the objective.

On this day, the Battalion Landing Team's training objective was to conduct a raid in an area containing a simulated improvised explosive device factory, while collecting as much information as possible fro

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