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Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force

Integrated Task Force artillery Marines step off for hike

By | | October 3, 2014


As the month of October begins, so does the official training for the Marines and sailors of the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force. A recurring training event will be the physical and mental challenges of long-distance movements with a fighting load, better known as a hike.

Marines with Battery A stepped off for a three-mile combat conditioning hike aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Oct. 3, 2014.

The artillery Marines started in the dark at the unit’s barracks, moving out along their route, keeping a steady formation and periodically adjusting gear and drinking water as leaders shouted words of encouragement.

“The purpose of this hike is to build strength, endurance, and mental toughness,” said Capt. Charles Arvisais, commanding officer, Battery A, GCEITF. “The Marines showed toughness and motivation throughout.”

The hike served as the first major training event for the battery and is a minor stepping stone for more rigorous events in coming  months.

“The hike was good conditioning for the Marines to get ready for the more long-distance ones,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Goff, field artillery fire support chief, Battery A, GCEITF. “It’s going to be rough on their feet but at the end of the day it’s going to be better for them. I’m looking forward to what comes next and working up for the next one. I think we’re going to do excellent on this training.”

Just as the sun was rising, the battery hike came to an end – as the Marines reveled in the feeling of being stronger today than they were yesterday.

“I’m proud of these Marines and looking forward to working with them for the duration of the task force,” Arvisais said.

From October 2014 to July 2015, the GCEITF will conduct individual and collective level skills training in designated ground combat arms occupational specialties in order to facilitate the standards based assessment of the physical performance of Marines in a simulated operating environment performing specific ground combat arms tasks.