CROW VALLEY, Republic of the Philippines (March 15, 2010) --
Republic of the Philippines Marines and U.S. Marines with Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines (BLT 2/7), 31st Marine Expeditionary (MEU), trained alongside each other during a live- fire range, March 13.
More than 90 Marines from both nations conducted training consisting of buddy rushes and individual movement using M-16 A4 service rifles, M-4 carbine rifles and M-249 squad automatic weapons (SAW). However, before the practical application could begin, U.S. Marines hosted classes and demonstrated proper and safe techniques to their Filipino counterparts.
Lance Cpl. Scott Klund, a rifleman with BLT 2/7 elaborated, “For individual movement, they start out receiving enemy contact and then return fire; once they return fire they run closer to their target taking cover every few feet and continue to move closer until they secure the objective.”
During the practical application portion the Philippine Marines with 1st Ready Force charged down range firing at their targets, while U.S. Marines provided cover. Training events such as these helped both sides learn.
“When we are able to participate in this sort of training both sides are able to gain knowledge from one another,” said Tech Sgt. Pio Alejandro H. Delgado, a platoon commander with 1st Ready Force.
However, the highlight of the training was during the break where servicemembers developed a bond of brothers.
“It is a truly bilateral event, we’re both learning from one another as well as eating together, sharing food and getting to know each other,” said 1st Lt. Jonathan Lucas, a platoon commander with Company E. (Co. E), BLT 2/7. “It means so much more when you can come out here and learn more than what is required.”
Philippine Marine Delgado added, “Working together promotes a camaraderie and friendship that will last the rest of our lives.”
The live-fire training was one of several events being conducted between the Philippine Marine Corps and BLT 2/7, as part of Balikatan 2010 (BK ’10).