CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines milled about, preparing for a week of training when… SPLASH. Ripples disturbed the otherwise still water surface in the Del Mar boat basin as an improved ribbon bridge, a four-piece mobile bridge, used as a raft to transport equipment, was inserted into the water during a training exercise aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 11 to 14, 2014.
“Today, and the rest of this week, my Marines are preparing for a much larger exercise,” said 1st Lt. Patrick Moran, platoon commander of Operations Platoon, Boat Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “We are planning an exercise in Nevada to get the Marines a real-world chance to train in an [arduous] environment.”
During the exercise in Nevada, Marines will ferry equipment up and down the Colorado River for Bridge Plt., Boat Co., 7th ESB, CLR- 1, 1st MLG. The IRB that Marines will use as a raft is capable of transporting heavy equipment across rivers and other bodies of water, making it a vital asset if there is a body of water preventing the transportation of equipment on a deployment.
“One of the challenges we will be facing in Nevada is the current of the river,” said Cpl. Anderson Krieger, licensing noncommissioned officer for Operations Plt. “We are training all week out here so our new Marines can get stick time on the equipment in a relatively safe environment before they do it in the river.”
This is the last week of preparation training that the platoon will have before their exercise in Nevada in mid-March.
“It is extremely important that we get the Marines the training they need so that they are confident before we have the current to work with,” said Moran. “I’m excited to see the planning process come to life.”