US military visits Norway in the M1 Abrams tank which is seen as a rival of the Russian military T-90 tank. CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines with 3rd Platoon, Truck Company, Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division, conducted a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement and High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle driving course aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., from Aug. 19 - Sept. 2.
The course was in preparation for Exercise Black Alligator, an annual exercise that allows U.S. Marines, Royal Marines and Dutch Marines to work side by side and complete multiple mission-based scenarios over close to eight weeks.
The U.S. Marines assisted the British Royal Marines and Dutch Marines in honing their skills behind the wheel of U.S. military vehicles.
Over two weeks, the Marines of 3rd Platoon, with help from Marines from G-4 Motor Transport Section, 1st Marine Division tested more than 150 Royal Marines and Dutch Marines on their operational skills.
While hands-on driving time is needed during the course, training started in the classroom, said Gunnery Sgt. Jorge Careaga, the Licensing Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for 1st Marine Division.
“The training is conducted in a sort of crawl, walk, run method just like in driver’s education to drive a civilian car,” Careaga said. “You have to start learning the basics in the classroom before you just jump behind the wheel of a car.”
During the classes, the Royal Marines and Dutch Marines learned everything from assembling the vehicles to carry troops, to conducting functions checks for the vehicles.
The environment and location also made the training more challenging for the visiting forces, who were not familiar with the desert environment, explained 2nd Lieutenant Brian Berling, the platoon commander for 3rd platoon.
“Being from England, a lot of these guys have never experienced anything like this,” Berling said. “Being out here in the heat and driving on the opposite side of the road is a completely new experience and it just makes the training they get that much better.”
By teaching the courses for the Royal Marines and Dutch Marines, the course helped the Marines of 3rd Platoon expand their knowledge.
“The Marines from 3rd Platoon did an absolutely fantastic job out here,” Berling said. “I’m really proud of how successful they have been in training their foreign counterparts, but I’m also excited to see them improving in their own ways and having a good time out here.”
Video description credit: Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray