USA — Lynn Visits Simulation Center, Marines at Pendleton

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDELTON, Calif. — The rock­et-pro­pelled grenade that explod­ed over his head served as an effec­tive atten­tion-get­ting device dur­ing Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary William J. Lynn III’s vis­it to the 1st Marine Expe­di­tionary Force’s bat­tle sim­u­la­tion cen­ter here yes­ter­day.

Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III talks with Marines at Camp Pendleton
Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary William J. Lynn III talks with Marines at Camp Pendle­ton, Calif., April 26, 2010.
Bildquelle: DoD pho­to by Air Force Mas­ter Sgt. Jer­ry Mor­ri­son

The deputy sec­re­tary had a walk-through of the sim­u­la­tion cen­ter before going through it for real. Thomas Busce­mi, chief of the cen­ter, demon­strat­ed what an RPG sounds like for Lynn.

“The first time they hear this, the Marines say, ‘What a neat pyrotech­nic.’ The sec­ond time they hear this, they are on the deck, which is where we want them,” Busce­mi said.

The sim­u­la­tion cen­ter is where fire teams and squads go to get a taste of what they will face when they deploy to Afghanistan. Sce­nar­ios include not only kinet­ic encoun­ters that sim­u­late com­bat engage­ment, but also sit­u­a­tions that require deal­ing with local trib­al and reli­gious lead­ers.

“They do not know what sce­nario they will face when they enter the cen­ter,” Busce­mi said, “just as they won’t know what’s con­fronting them in Afghanistan.”

The cen­ter is in an old toma­to pack­ing plant on this sprawl­ing base, and Marines have tried to make it as real­is­tic as pos­si­ble. The smell – a mix­ture of sewage, rot­ted flesh and ani­mals – is straight out of parts of Bagh­dad or Kab­ul.

“Some of the vet­er­ans have flash­backs as soon as they catch the smell,” Busce­mi told Lynn. “We need them to tell the younger Marines that the last time they caught this smell, some­one was shoot­ing at them.”

Squads and fire teams run through a series of sce­nar­ios as they pre­pare to deploy. “We want them to see the things they will face in com­bat here, long before there are actu­al bul­lets fly­ing,” said Marine Sgt. Samuel Wal­ton of 2nd Bat­tal­ion, 1st Marines, a com­bat vet­er­an who now works at the cen­ter. The young sergeant has deployed to Iraq four times, and soon will deploy to Afghanistan. The cen­ter was up and run­ning for his last deploy­ment to Iraq, and it was “extreme­ly help­ful,” he said.

The cadre ran Lynn through the cen­ter. Lynn and his par­ty wore spe­cial masks to pro­tect them­selves as they got a taste of what young Marines go through.

The deputy sec­re­tary came away impressed with the cen­ter.

“We spend the vast major­i­ty of our sim­u­la­tion funds on air­planes and tanks and such, but 85 per­cent of our casu­al­ties are in small-unit actions,” Lynn said. “This is cer­tain­ly some­thing we should be look­ing at.”

The sim­u­la­tion cen­ter is only part of the train­ing that Marine units go through before deploy­ing. Com­pa­ny- and bat­tal­ion-lev­el exer­cis­es are part of Mojave Viper – a larg­er exer­cise at Twen­ty­nine Palms, a Marine base near Palm Springs.

In addi­tion to going through the sim­u­la­tion cen­ter, Lynn also vis­it­ed with mem­bers of the 1st Marine Divi­sion and stopped in at the wound­ed war­rior battalion’s new bar­racks.

The deputy sec­re­tary con­tin­ues his Cal­i­for­nia trip today with a vis­it to Van­den­berg Air Force Base and a speech to the World Affairs Coun­cil in Los Ange­les.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →