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Marines battle ocean waves to sharpen amphibious capabilities


2nd AAB Marines

Marines with 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalion endured the rough ocean waves as they conducted a series of amphibious operations during a training exercise at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, May 31 – June 2.

The training allowed Marines to gain more experience conducting combat-oriented amphibious operations in preparation for an upcoming large-scale training exercise known as Integrated Training Exercise later this year.

“We conducted a series of drills called gator squares,” said Cpl. Brandon Kelley, a crew chief with 2nd AAB. “These drills allow us to simulate our vehicles coming off-ship and then assault and secure the beach so we can safely bring the infantry Marines inland.”

The unit performs amphibious operations training frequently, however, there are still a number of challenges the Marines can face while training.

“The weather can sometimes be a challenge during these kinds of [operations],” said Kelley. “We’re out here doing this training so our crewmen are proficient and can handle anything that gets thrown at them.”

A secondary intent of this training exercise was to allow junior Marines to hone the skills necessary to complete any amphibious mission that they may receive in the future.

“My confidence in myself and the platoon as a whole is a lot better than it was before,” said Lance Cpl. Kyle Khors, a crew chief with the unit. “A lot of the newer guys haven’t been in the ocean before.”

The senior Marines shared knowledge with the newer Marines, showing them better ways to operate. Now, the junior Marines are a lot more comfortable and familiar with what they need to do, explained Khors.

With a wide range of capabilities, 2nd AAB plays a critical role in completing the mission of the Marine Corps.

“We have the ability to bring a lot of firepower into an objective,” said Kelley. “We move infantry and logistics from ship to shore and we’re able to do it efficiently. We are what makes the Marine Corps amphibious.”

Story by Lance Cpl. Damarko Bones

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