Crestview Marine using shock-absorbing concrete during live fire training

marines concrete 7th

Marines with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, maneuver uprange during a live fire exercise on Range 210 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Dec. 6. Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Bergeron of Crestview, a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, said Range 210 is probably one of the most dynamic ranges in the Marine Corps and it does an excellent job of mimicking a combat environment.

Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Monday, December 23, 2013 at 03:14 PM.

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. – Marines with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, swarmed the Combat Center Dec. 6 when they conducted live fire training in an urban facility, here, during their Mission Readiness Exercise.

The facility, titled Range 210, resembled an urban environment and was unique because its buildings’ walls were constructed of shock absorbent concrete. Unlike most urban training facilities, Marines were able to conduct live fire training versus firing blank ammunition.

“This is probably one of the most dynamic ranges in the Marine Corps because you can fire live rounds into buildings,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Bergeron of Crestview, a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company. “This is as real as it gets because we can fire machine guns and rifles into the buildings and engage targets like we would in an actual combat environment.”

The night prior to assaulting the range, a scout sniper team inserted into the surrounding terrain to photograph the area and visually show Capt. Lonnie Wilson, Alpha commander, the battlefield. With that critical information, Wilson finished planning the assault and the company was ready to attack the following day.

Mortarmen and artillerymen were the first to destroy targets on the outskirts of the facility while a combined anti-armor team moved in to surround the town. Tanks and assault amphibious vehicles loaded with Marines arrived shortly after, and it was time for boots to hit the ground. Infantrymen poured out of the AAVs and immediately assaulted the town.

Machine gun and rifle fire filled the area as Marines maneuvered through the terrain and moved into buildings while M1A1 Abrams tanks assaulted the town.

“Tanks don’t ever move through an urban environment by themselves,” Bergeron said. “They weigh more than 40 tons but they’re very vulnerable because someone can shoot a rocket propelled grenade at them from the roof of a building or from an alleyway.”



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