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Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force

Integrated Task Force Marines get hands-on with AAVs

By | | November 12, 2014

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Marines with the Amphibious Assault Vehicle platoon, Company B, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, conducted a series of exercises at Landing Zone Falcon aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Nov. 12, 2014.The training was intended to prepare the platoon for their assessment at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, next year, as well as to give the platoon an opportunity to strengthen their team-building skills.“The day has been efficient for the Marines to come out to a field environment and conduct these sub-tasks,” said 1st Lt. Robert Dyer, amphibious assault vehicle platoon commander, Co. B, GCEITF. “This is a similar environment to what we will be working on in Twentynine Palms.”The tasks included a land tow, in which Marines worked together to tow one AAV with another; a simulated water tow, in which Marines practiced connecting two AAVs with ropes as they would when in a body of water; a casualty evacuation, in which Marines lifted a 177-pound dummy named “Carl” out of an AAV to simulate a wounded Marine needing evacuation; and maintenance actions, such as breaking the tracks on the AAVs and ensuring their functionality.  The platoon found the events to be a challenging, albeit rewarding, experience. “I think it turned out well,” said Cpl. Tyree Straw, AAV crew chief. “It gets difficult at times but that is why we are here. The Marines move fast and do what they are supposed to. We can take anything that gets thrown at us.”With their training in the books, Dyer said the platoon looks forward to taking AAVs where they are meant to go – out on the water.“We're working up to our water operations to be conducted in the near future,” Dyer said. “This is a good way to get the Marines out and do what we do. It's important for them to build camaraderie in the platoon and learn communication skills.”From October 2014 to July 2015, the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force will conduct individual and collective skills training in designated 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.
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