U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

 

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

MRF-D trains with Aussies, MEU ‘out bush’ during Exercise Koolendong

By Sgt. Sarah Fiocco | Marine Rotational Force - Darwin | September 04, 2013

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Two Marines with Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, fire 60mm mortars as part of a live-fire training event, ensuring they have accurate aim on the simulated enemy force, here, during Exercise Koolendong, Sept. 1. This training evolution is the first of its kind here in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event.

Two Marines with Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, fire 60mm mortars as part of a live-fire training event, ensuring they have accurate aim on the simulated enemy force, here, during Exercise Koolendong, Sept. 1. This training evolution is the first of its kind here in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event. (Photo by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco)


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Lance Cpl. Justin Oates, machine gunner, Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, engages a simulated enemy force with an M240B machine gun, here, Sept. 2. Throughout the exercise, MRF-D Marines conducted day and night live-fire training. This training evolution is the first of its kind here in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event.

Lance Cpl. Justin Oates, machine gunner, Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, engages a simulated enemy force with an M240B machine gun, here, Sept. 2. Throughout the exercise, MRF-D Marines conducted day and night live-fire training. This training evolution is the first of its kind here in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event. (Photo by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco)


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A Marine with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, jumps out the back of a 7-ton truck during Exercise Koolendong, here, Sept. 3. MRF-D Marines traveled to the range either by foot, vehicle or aircraft. This training evolution is the first of its kind, here, in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event.

A Marine with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, jumps out the back of a 7-ton truck during Exercise Koolendong, here, Sept. 3. MRF-D Marines traveled to the range either by foot, vehicle or aircraft. This training evolution is the first of its kind, here, in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event. (Photo by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco)


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A Marine with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, waits to begin a movement-to-contact training evolution during Exercise Koolendong, here, Sept. 3. This training evolution is the first of its kind here in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event.

A Marine with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, waits to begin a movement-to-contact training evolution during Exercise Koolendong, here, Sept. 3. This training evolution is the first of its kind here in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event. (Photo by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco)


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Marines with Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, fires a Shoulder-Launched, Multipurpose Assault Weapon as part of a movement-to-contact training evolution during Exercise Koolendong, here, Sept. 3. This training evolution is the first of its kind here in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event.

Marines with Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, fires a Shoulder-Launched, Multipurpose Assault Weapon as part of a movement-to-contact training evolution during Exercise Koolendong, here, Sept. 3. This training evolution is the first of its kind here in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event. (Photo by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco)


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Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, ride in an MV-22B Osprey to a movement-to-contact training evolution during Exercise Koolendong, here, Sept. 3. MRF-D Marines traveled to the range either by foot, vehicle or aircraft. This training evolution is the first of its kind, here, in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event.

Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, ride in an MV-22B Osprey to a movement-to-contact training evolution during Exercise Koolendong, here, Sept. 3. MRF-D Marines traveled to the range either by foot, vehicle or aircraft. This training evolution is the first of its kind, here, in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event. (Photo by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco)


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Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, load into an MV-22B Osprey from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit during Exercise Koolendong, here, Sept. 3. MRF-D Marines traveled to the range either by foot, vehicle or aircraft. This training evolution is the first of its kind, here, in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st MEU worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event.

Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, load into an MV-22B Osprey from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit during Exercise Koolendong, here, Sept. 3. MRF-D Marines traveled to the range either by foot, vehicle or aircraft. This training evolution is the first of its kind, here, in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st MEU worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event. (Photo by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco)


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Lance Cpl. Justin Downing (left) and Lance Cpl. Michael Delorme (right), both mortarmen with Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, prepare to fire a 60mm mortar, here, during Exercise Koolendong, Sept. 3. Throughout the exercise, MRF-D Marines conducted day and night live-fire training. This training evolution is the first of its kind, here, in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event.

Lance Cpl. Justin Downing (left) and Lance Cpl. Michael Delorme (right), both mortarmen with Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, prepare to fire a 60mm mortar, here, during Exercise Koolendong, Sept. 3. Throughout the exercise, MRF-D Marines conducted day and night live-fire training. This training evolution is the first of its kind, here, in which Marines with MRF-D and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit worked bilaterally with the Australian soldiers of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as a "proof of concept" to assess the capacity of the training ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event. (Photo by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco)


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BRADSHAW FIELD TRAINING AREA, Northern Territory, Australia --

Marines with Marine Rotational Force – Darwin moved through the extreme heat and dry terrain of the Australian Outback to send rounds flying at a simulated militia group of rebels armed with 82mm mortars, two vehicles and other weaponry.

This movement-to-contact exercise was just one of three ranges in which Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, MRF-D, along with units from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Australian soldiers with Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, worked together to eliminate the “enemy” threat as part of Exercise Koolendong, here, Sept. 1-4.

“Exercise Koolendong was about three days of live-fire activity, focusing on platoon attack ranges,” said Capt. Raymond L’Heureux, commanding officer, Lima Co., 3rd Bn., 3rd Marine Regiment, MRF-D. “The MEU did a movement-to contact exercise where Lima Company basically acted as one of the supporting efforts and conducted their range as if part of a larger operation.”

In order to prevent the advancement of the paramilitary force, MRF-D Marines executed a seamless plan-of-attack.

“We had to use a platoon-sized reinforced attack to pin them down and eliminate the vehicles and threat of the mortar systems,” explained Lt. Wesley Nix, platoon commander, 3rd Platoon, Lima Co., 3rd Bn., 3rd Marine Regiment, MRF-D. “We wanted to make sure the enemy couldn’t egress.”

The MRF-D Marines expertly accomplished that mission by employing the firepower of their riflemen, assaultmen, mortarmen and machine gunners.

“The goal was to have the mortarmen engage the enemy first while the machine gunners are setting up for their support by fire,” said Staff Sergeant Daniel Hubbert, platoon sergeant, Weapons Platoon, Lima Co., 3rd Bn., 3rd Marine Regiment, MRF-D. “As soon as the mortarmen had effective rounds, the machine gunners started occupying their support by fire. At that point, the riflemen began their maneuver to the objectives. Assaultmen were embedded with the riflemen the entire time, and their job was to eliminate the two enemy vehicles with Shoulder-Fired, Multi-Purpose Assault Weapon rockets.”

Each day, MRF-D Marines traveled to the ranges either on foot, by vehicle or by aircraft.

“The range itself stayed the same through every execution, but the methods of insertion changed,” explained L’Heureux. “For the movement-to-contact, we were motorized using the 7-tons and then we executed an air assault via an MV-22B Osprey and two CH-53E Super Stallions. It just allowed us to practice different methods of travel to our objectives using the different abilities we have as a Marine Corps.”

Overall, the exercise acted as a “proof of concept” to assess the capacity of the ranges to support a battalion-sized live-fire event.

“It’s a good training area where you can get a lot of things done,” said L’Heureux.

The more than 1,000 Marines and Australian soldiers who trained here made their point loud and clear: they can, in fact, successfully send rounds down range while sustaining themselves deep in the Outback.

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