U.S. And Royal Thai Marines Conduct Urban Warfare Training
By Sgt. Tiffany Edwards, III Marine Expeditionary Force
BAN CHAN KREM, Thailand - U.S. Marines with 1st Platoon, Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted Military Operations in Urbanized Terrain (MOUT) training with the Royal Thai Marine Corps Feb. 14, 2017 at Ban Chan Krem, Thailand. The Marines and Sailors traveled to Thailand to participate in Exercise Cobra Gold 17, a co-sponsored, multi-national exercise between the Kingdom of Thailand, United States, and 27 other nations.
"The Royal Thai Marines requested this specific training, which is the foundation of (MOUT)," said 1st Lt. Christian Talarico, platoon commander for 1st Plt., Echo Co., BLT 2/5. "Our Marines are well versed and more than capable to teach this training, which will provide a good foundation for the Thai Marines to build on and increase their proficiency."
Junior riflemen with 1st Plt., Echo Co. led the training with customized classes on each aspect within MOUT training, providing detailed strategies and demonstrations to the Thai Marines with the assistance of interpreters.
"We've had to communicate primarily through body language and example, with the help of interpreters," said Staff Sgt. Andres Lopez, platoon sergeant for 1st Plt., Echo Co., BLT 2/5. "It gives our junior guys a chance to practice teaching classes, develop practical training evolutions and carrying them out successfully under their leadership's supervision. It helps that a lot of what we are teaching are universal concepts for infantry Marines. Infantry, even if they are from different countries, function the same way in many aspects."
The U.S. Marine leadership tasked junior Marines with the majority of instruction and demonstration, in order to build tactical expertise and professional communication skills in their latest generation of modern warfighters.
"Being responsible for creating and teaching classes, and being responsible for whether the Thai Marines thoroughly learned the subject material, gave the junior Marines extra leadership responsibilities," said Cpl. Bradley LaFleche, 1st Squad Leader, 1st Plt., Echo Co., BLT 2/5. "Watching the development and progression of leadership skills throughout our deployment, especially with the junior Marines within my squad, has been pretty rewarding."