U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific service members kicked off the new Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training pit with sustainment and advancement courses Oct. 13 at Bordelon Field.
The roughly 60-by-30-foot two-month old training pit, boasting more than 12 tons of recycled tires, has been used by Marines irregularly until the Headquarters and Service Battalion training section launched the mid-day MCMAP course.
Marine Corps Martial Arts doesn’t require a dedicated training area, but is significantly enhanced with one because Marines are less prone to injuries, said Sgt. Joe Benezette, a MCMAP instructor with HQSVBN.
“It’s excellent,” he said. They should have one at every command,” “It’s definitely a safety issue. The training pit prevents them from getting hurt at the same time allowing for more intensive training.”
Benezette explained that now with a dedicated area and the recently established MCMAP courses there’s no reason for Marines not to advance to the next level and utilize the opportunity afforded to them.
The new training opportunity allows Marines the previously unavailable option to climb the different belt-level tiers, including black-belt, MCMAP offers.
“I’m glad it’s here, we can finally get into [MCMAP] without worrying about injuries and focusing on the training,” said Lance Cpl. Kevin Dunbar, a grey belt conducting sustainment training for green belt, with communications section, MarForPac.
As a smaller, more consolidated installation, Camp Smith previously offered a minimal selection of typical physical training facilities, such as an obstacle course. The pit, coupled with regular instruction, promotes a more traditional offering of Marine Corps-oriented training.
Service members aboard Camp Smith are enthusiastic about their new training opportunity and area, Dunbar added.
“This just allows us to train that much harder, that much more effectively. It’s what it’s all about,” he said.