AL QUWEYRAH, Jordan, May 14, 2015 – U.S. Marines from Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, kicked off Exercise Eager Lion 15 here last week with three days of training alongside members of the Jordanian and British militaries.
Eager Lion is an annual, multinational exercise designed to build interoperability, promote partnerships and exchange military expertise among the 18 partner nations and NATO.
The Marines split into three groups, rotating among different training areas and working closely with their Jordanian and British counterparts. The areas set up were a close-quarters marksmanship range; a military operations in urban terrain training area; and a barbed-wire breaching lane.
“These are skills the Marines learned back in the states, and now we are proving we know them well enough to execute tactically in the desert,” said 1st Lt. Jeremiah Pearse, 3rd Platoon Commander, Easy Co., 2/2.
The close-quarters marksmanship range consisted of Marines and Jordanians shooting, moving and working on quick-reaction situations.
The servicemembers lined up 25 yards away from their targets, and moved closer periodically, shooting in the head, chest or pelvic area as commanded. The targets were pulled and scored to evaluate shooting ability.
“We’ve partnered with the Jordanian Armed Forces during Eager Lion and shared our marksmanship fundamentals throughout this course of fire,”
said Lance Cpl. Zachary Painter, a machine gunner with Weapons Platoon, Easy Co., 2/2.
The breaching lane was a course in which the servicemembers had to evaluate and decide on the best plan of attack to complete the mission. The course ran through a trench and up a small hill, where barbed wire was laid out to slow the advance.
“Suppression, obscuration, secure a foothold, reduce the obstacle; it’s a baseline technique that we teach our riflemen to get though typical barbed-wire obstacles,” said 2nd Lt. Benjamin Roof, 1st Platoon Commander, Easy Co., 2/2.
After providing a base of fire toward enemy targets, servicemembers rushed over the wire to engage the targets using bounding techniques.
Small unit leadership and communication were key elements to completing the lane.
“At the end of each breaching iteration, we count how many rounds they have in their magazines and how many rounds have hit the target,” said Roof. “If it adds up to 50 percent or higher, they pass this iteration.”
The military operations in urban terrain training area was comprised of a group of smaller buildings used to practice urban movement and tactics. British army soldiers shared their tactics, techniques and procedures with Marines and Jordanian soldiers. An integrated attack was executed, allowing squads from each military to come together and use their respective skills to successfully conduct the attack.
“These exercises validate everything we’ve been doing in the states and are a good guide for how prepared we are to conduct more complex” events, Pearse said.