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TIMISOARA, Romania — Marines with 3rd Platoon, Ground Combat Element, Black Sea Rotational Force 12, participated in a tactics exchange with Romanian soldiers in Timisoara, Romania.
“This training is a great opportunity to exchange information about our tactics and enhance interoperability for future missions,” said Staff Sgt. Kirby G. Fanus, platoon sergeant, 3rd Platoon, GCE, BSRF-12. “We are now more aware of how each other operate and we look forward to working with them again.”
Some of the Romanian soldiers already know what it’s like to serve alongside Marines in combat from previous tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. They welcome the training as added knowledge they can use for the future as some of them may be going to Afghanistan within the year.
“This training is important to them because they see American Marines as the most elite fighting force in the world,” said, Cpl. Matthew L. Fuentes, assistant team leader and squad sniper, 3rd Platoon, GCE, BSRF-12. “They’re very receptive to everything we say to them because we have proven ourselves on the battlefield and off. Some have seen it on TV but they all see it in person now by how we carry ourselves.”
Marines set up multiple stations of lane training which included: convoy operations, counter to snipers, near and far ambushes, danger areas, patrolling, enhanced marksmanship program, hasty ambushes, chance contacts, counter to improvised-explosive devices and intangible knowledge.
“We want them to know about our mindset,” said Fuentes. “About taking the fight to the enemy and not letting them bring it to you.”
The soldiers went about their designated missions stopping only for a tip from the Marines. After each group accomplished their training mission they would meet for a de-brief and critiques. The Marines would explain what they would do different and why.
“We want to share our knowledge with these guys and train them as best as we can to make sure they all come back to their family and friends,” said Fuentes. “This will hopefully have a positive impact on how they train and fight in the future.”
The training is part of the Black Sea Rotational Force’s six-month deployment which includes training with 19 nations planned throughout the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucuses regions.
“The non-commissioned officers and junior Marines took charge of this training and displayed their leadership skills, said Fanus. “They conducted themselves in an exemplary manner and used the opportunity to not only share their knowledge but add tools to their own toolbox as well.”
The Black Sea Rotational Force is a Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force with crisis response capabilities deployed to the region to enhance interoperability, promote regional stability and build camaraderie amongst the forces.