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NEWS | Nov. 9, 2015

Kilo Company Rushes, Eliminates Enemy

By Lance Cpl. Harley Thomas, Marine Corps Base Hawaii 3rd Marine Regiment

POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hawaii -- Marines with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, gathered to perform platoon attacks in order to locate and eliminate enemy objectives on Nov. 4, 2015, during their annual training exercise, Lava Viper, a staple in the battalion’s pre-deployment training, at Range 10 aboard Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii.

The purpose of the training was to provide Marines within the company with an opportunity to utilize various tactics and weapons while organizing within the platoons to accomplish a common mission.

“We conducted a platoon reinforced attack on one squad objective and two platoon objectives,” said 2nd Lt. Shane Quinn, the platoon commander for 3rd Platoon, Kilo Co., 3rd Bn., 3rd Marines. “We also conducted a breach into an enemy trench and underwent an attack by chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear Marines, in which we had to go through our standard operating procedures in case of such an attack.”

Quinn, a Stafford, Va., native, said the platoon attacks were important on every level, from the individual Marine to the entirety of the company.

“On the company level, this provided an opportunity for the company commander to assess his platoons for the first time, as this is our first live-range,” he said. “For the platoons and squads, we got to see how well each Marine works with one another and we got to see every individual’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Lance Cpl. Jordan Kirchner, a squad leader with 3rd Plt., Kilo Co., 3rd Bn., 3rd Marines, said the training was important because it gave the Marines within the company a chance to go through and attack while handling the stress they have endured this far.

“Under the constant threat of being gassed or having rounds continuously move down range around us, we’re better able to understand the stress we might encounter while conducting attacks in a combat environment,” said Kirchner, an Oakley, Calif., native. “By fighting through that stress, I think we all feel more comfortable accomplishing a mission in that kind of scenario.”

Quinn said the Marines can use this information and build from this training, moving forward into their Integrated Training Exercise and later deployment. He said one the greatest benefits of the training was that the Marines got to employ their various weapon systems in order to accomplish the mission.

“From assault men with the shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon to the infantrymen with the light anti-tank weapon, we got to see the effect of our combined arms,” he said. “This allowed us to better see what the Marine Corps is capable of bringing to the enemy.”

For over a week, the company has been conducting individual and squad attacks, leading up to what they have accomplished with the reinforced platoon attack. Quinn said that by using each of the company’s assets, they Marines were able to see how well the company functioned as a whole, seeing how each individual asset added to the mission.

“The squad leaders have been rehearsing assaults, tactics and movement, and, ultimately, all that practice really paid off for them,” he said. “We were successful in destroying the enemy and they performed better than I could have hoped for. These guys worked hard and didn’t simply see this as a fluke – they didn’t have the mindset that they would just show up and get it over with – they took this training very seriously and carried out the mission they best they could.”

Kirchner said coming into the training, he expected his squad to be able to perform without any casualties or faults on their end and said he was happy with what the Marines accomplished.

“The Marines in the company knew what they were doing,” he said. “Because we had planned it all accordingly, they were able to carry out their tasks to the best of their ability. Every training event should be like that. I want these guys to continue to keep putting out and learn as much as they can so that we can perform attacks much larger than this and be more efficient in reaching the goals we set out to accomplish.”

Quinn said he was very impressed with the Marines’ performance during the attacks and we hopes they can continue to function at such a high level.

“I just want to say ‘Well done,’” he said. “They did a phenomenal job and, although we have a lot of work left to prepare for deployment, I have faith that they can keep the momentum going to be the most lethal company out there.”

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