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Marines, British Commandos conduct Exercise Burmese Chase 2013

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Story by Lance Cpl. Cody Haas

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Dozens of Marines from 1st and 3rd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company joined forces with British Army Commandos from 148th Battery, 29th Commando Fire Support Team, Royal Artillery, during this year’s Exercise Burmese Chase, aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 3, 2013.

Burmese Chase, a bilateral exercise between American and British forces, is conducted annually to hone the skills of forward observers through many joint training operations. The three week evolution improves interoperability by conducting close air support, live-fire drills and small unit training with the two nations.

The teams also trained in rappelling, fast roping, maneuver to fire drills, and calling for air support or “call for fire” drills.

“It’s always a great experience training in a joint environment,” said Lance Cpl. David Linares, a communications operator with 3rd ANGLICO. “As forward observers, [the exercises] help us know what to expect on upcoming deployments working with [coalition forces]. We learn a lot from each other.”

The training evolution focused on the improvement of both nations’ team capabilities to call for fire from supporting arms, including Marine air support and artillery battery. Each team was granted four to six air strikes for each simulated mission.

These training exercises are important for Marines with 1st ANGLICO because they often conduct missions alongside multiple foreign militaries.

1st ANGLICO trains with joint and international forces to coordinate supporting fires like ground artillery, naval artillery or air support. The forward observers of the 148th Battery also coordinate supporting fires for ground forces and often work with other foreign militaries.

“We [were able] to practice some skills that really apply to us as fire support coordinators and forward observers,” said Capt. Jonathan C. Stroschine, a joint terminal attack controller with 3rd ANGLICO. “It’s really about paying attention to detail [and] what’s happening on the battlefield and painting a descriptive picture for air support over the radio.”

Marines and British Army Commandos began the exercise learning the basics to build a base of skills to incorporate in future training. After multiple repetitions allowing individuals to increase their skill set, they were able to complete each event with proficiency and confidence.

“The training has been great,” said Gnr. Jacques Jordeen, a British Army Commando with 148th Battery, 29th Commando Fire Support Team, Royal Artillery. “Fast roping isn’t something I was very comfortable with but after many repetitions I was able to overcome the fear.”

Many of the service members were unfamiliar with a number of events. To overcome the challenges they looked towards their more experienced peers for guidance.

“Overall I am very pleased with everyone’s performance,” said Capt. Austin Jones, the air officer with 2nd Brigade, 1st ANGLICO. “There is a great deal of fresh Marines doing this training for the first time and they’re learning a lot from their experienced mentors.”

After the exercise is complete, American and British forces will gain the experience needed to work more efficiently with their counterparts in England and on their own as the Marine Corps’ liaisons to combined-arms support.

Source link: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/113806/marines-british-commandos-conduct-exercise-burmese-chase-2013#.UjsHQD-jaaY

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