Unit HomeNewsNews Article Display
Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force


Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force

Integrated Task Force engineers blow through obstacles

By | | January 16, 2015


Marines with Engineer Platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, conducted hasty breaching training at Engineer Training Area 2 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Jan. 15-16, 2015.

With their upcoming  assessment of their ability to perform tasks out of the individual Military Occupational Specialty Training and Readiness manuals right around the corner, the platoon wasted no time getting to work.

 “The first day we focused on the individual actions of a combat engineer,” said 1st Lt. Stephanie Damren, platoon commander, Engineer Platoon, H&S Co., GCEITF. “That included knot tying, demolitions preparation and time-fuse cutting. Those fundamentals were put in place when we conducted hasty breaching.”
The platoon conducted a patrol to a berm, carrying their M1A2 Bangalores, or explosive charges within interconnected tubes, the entire way. Upon arrival to their objective, they were faced with a unique challenge that will be a specific part of their evaluation at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California.

The platoon was required to overcome an 8-foot tall steel storage container while carrying their Bangalores, and then advance to concertina wire obstacles to destroy them.

“In theory, that would have opened up the lane for the infantry or any follow-on forces to move through,” Damren said.

Each Marine assisted in transporting each other and the Bangalores over the storage container, and after reaching their targets, set across three lanes for the three squads, provided security for those setting the charges under the concealment of smoke. Squads made their way back to the safety of their starting position and detonated their charges. Finally, the Marines proofed and marked the lanes to assess the effectiveness of their work.

“[This exercise] was fantastic,” said Cpl. Jade Nichols, fire team leader, Engineer Platoon, H&S Company, GCEITF. “This was our first opportunity to utilize the ISO container, which is a big part of what we will do in Twentynine Palms. It's not as difficult as we thought it was going to be. We used a lot of teamwork to get through it.”

The platoon feels progress has been made with this exercise, which will better prepare them for their challenges in Twentynine Palms.

“The Marines put out, were aggressive and all of their fundamental skills were on point,” Damren said. “We are looking forward to our next training exercise. The Marines are going to keep progressing and will kill it in Twentynine Palms.”

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.