'War Dogs' Train During Enhanced Mojave Viper


MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif.  — The Marines of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, took on Range 400 in a company-sized mission in a live fire venue July 29, 2012, as part of their Enhanced Mojave Viper training.

Company F practiced fire and maneuver techniques with integrated assets like artillery and mortars supporting thier infantrymen.

The company attack was on an enemy fortified position. The Marines made their way in and out of trenches using support by fire and coordination between the platoons.

“It was a big challenge for us,” said 1st Lt. Alexander Navia, platoon commander, 2nd platoon, Co. F, 2/7. “We had to contend with all of the attachments and manage between all the cross talk between the units.”

Each platoon had its own objective to accomplish during the attack. Communication was a key factor in making sure the platoons were on the same page.

“My platoon’s role was to establish support by fire for both the main and secondary efforts going into the trench systems,” Navia said.

An exercise of this size and complexity doesn’t always go through without some difficulties.

“I think things went pretty smoothly,” said Cpl. William Noonan, rifleman, 1st platoon, Co. F, 2/7. “We got tied down a few times and the only problem we were having was ammo consumption. We were burning through rounds pretty quickly.”

Even with a company-sized assault, the unit stressed how important it was for individual Marines to do their part in the operation.

“Individual actions are important regardless of the size of the operation. That’s what it boils down to,” Navia said. “If that (private first class) or lance corporal doesn’t effectively engage their targets, they don’t go down, the enemy doesn’t go down. The individual action of the Marine doesn’t go away just because we have big guns. Big guns only help the mission, they don’t take care of the whole mission for you.”

The Marines of Co. F are halfway through their pre-deployment training at EMV. They will look back on Range 400 and see what they can do to improve themselves for the rest of the training ahead.

“We’re two weeks into EMV now. The Marines are a little tired and we’re getting back today for a little break,” Navia said. “We’ll be back out in a couple of days and finish out the second half of EMV and then go to the big show.”

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