OKINAWA, Japan --
CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan -- U.S. Marines with Command Element, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted the Vehicle Commander Course on Camp Hansen, April 19-23 and 29.
The VCC’s goal was to train and assess Marines on their tactical and technical proficiency in order to certify them to serve as vehicle commanders.
“This training is used to integrate all MOS’ to become familiar with communications, crew served weapons, and motor transportation convoy capabilities to those who aren't familiar with these training procedures,” said Cpl. Brent Fenton, an instructor of VCC, and a radio operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 31, 31st MEU.
Fenton explained that it is encouraged for Marines to bring what they know from their primary MOS into the course to learn from one another and enhance the Marines overall skills during the training.
During the three phases of the training: Motor Transport Operations, Crew Served Weapons Operations and Communications Operations, Marines were given instruction, practical application exercises and an evaluation. This demonstrated proficiency and understanding of motor transport operations, immediate action drills, concurrent actions, standardized reporting, crew served weapons operation, communications assets operation and decentralized decision making.
During the Motor Transport Operations, Marines conducted function checks on a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement and a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, consisting of checking tire pressure, starting the vehicles and how to mount weapons. This phase ended when all students completed the motor transport evaluation and accountability of all equipment.
After the completion of the first phase, Marines conducted the Crew Served Weapons Operations where they practiced disbursement drill and halt drills while carrying a M240B Machine Gun mounted on a JLTV. The goal of this phase was to train Marines how to react when an enemy approaches and does not react to a halt command.
Cpl. Alyssa Zwiers, a participant of VCC, and a supply non commissioned officer with CLB-31, 31st MEU, emphasized that the training was a valuable asset to not only mission readiness but the capabilities of the Marines. Overall, they were able to practice incorporating known skills with new developing ones to enhance their efficiency if they found themselves in the vehicle commander's role.
Finally, to signify the end of the course, Marines completed Communications Operations. During this phase, Marines dispatching radio calls while practicing effective communication over the radio during disbursement drills.
“This training is important because it gives other MOS’ an understanding of what to do in a combat situation that they might not be familiar with,” said Zwiers. “If we are all afforded this training we can be ready when the time comes.”