Marine Rotational Force-Darwin 22 participated in Australian-led courses that will enhance their ability to conduct operations in all climates and locations.
“I believe in my soul that Marines are different. Our identity is firmly anchored in our warrior spirit. It is the force that will always adapt and overcome no matter the circumstances. We fight and win in any climate and location,” Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger said in his 2019 CMC planning guide.
To accomplish this, Marines and Sailors participated in the Bushcraft Survival Course, Culture Camp and Jungle Warfare Training across Australia.
It started moving 50 miles from Darwin. The Territory Wildlife Park in Berry Springs, Northern Territory, runs a six-day course offering a skill set to learn survival and maintenance.
“It was a memorable experience to use the Southern Cross to navigate the environment. Knowing that it holds a special place in the history of the Marine Corps and Australia. 1st Sergeant Louis Cardenas, Combat Logistics Company B First Sergeant
“The training helped me realize that I can use my military equipment and the environment,” said Sergeant Oren De La Rosa, Landing Support Specialist, Combat Logistics Element. “The skills acquired [in bushcraft survival] facilitated field operations. I used one of the methods during the Predator’s Run exercise.
Skills included building shelters with equipment provided by the Marine Corps and the environment, making fires with bits of flint and steel, preparing food with what is available in nature, and the conduct of celestial navigation.
“It was a memorable experience to use the Southern Cross to navigate the environment,” added 1st Sergeant Louis Cardenas, Company First Sergeant, Combat Logistics Company B. “Knowing that she holds a special place in the history of the Marine Corps and Australia.”
Culture Camp offered a unique insight into the hunt, including cultural and ceremonial aspects. Located at the Bradshaw Field Training Area, approximately 450 miles from Darwin, the camp allowed Marines and Australian Defense Forces to learn the traditional skills of Australian traditional owners.
Marines from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment participated in the Culture Camp in July. The detachment cleared the surface and helped reduce any risk of explosion in the area, in addition to learning hunting techniques and the culture of the Timber Creek communities.
Photo by photo courtesy
US Marines from Navy Rotational Force–Darwin 22 disembark from an Australian ASLAV Light Armored Vehicle during integration training with Australian Army soldiers from the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment during Operation Regional War Fighter at Jungle Training Wing, Tully, Queensland. Operation Regional War Fighter supports the Australian Army’s recent focus on enhanced jungle capabilities, which mimics conditions seen in the neighboring region.
“Blessed by the waters,” EOD Technician Sergeant Peter Hornbeck said of his experience at the culture camp. “The locals blessed us in the waters called ‘Croc Alley’, where we did the majority of our fishing. It was their way of welcoming us into their culture. We had the opportunity to go fishing deep in the quarry and do some hand and spinning rod fishing.
As for jungle warfare training, the Marines traveled to Tully, Queensland to learn at the Combat Training Center-Jungle Training Wing Tully. 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine India Company, 2nd Platoon traveled over 1,000 miles from Darwin to learn a different set of skills.
The three-week training tested the Marines and ADF in austere environments. During the training, the Marines and ADF worked from squad-level patrols through thick vegetation, to platoon-level route reconnaissance and clearing of camps. Towards the end, the Marines served as the vanguard, denying anti-armour ambushes to allow Australian light armored vehicles to scout a beach landing site.
“Learning to move through the thick vegetation was difficult,” commented 1st Lt. Max Schlinker, commander of India Company’s 2nd Platoon. “It reduced our ability to maneuver in the field, especially at night. We have identified the need to adapt our training to maintain close control. And we performed shots and moves more often than shots and maneuvers.”
“We worked with B Squadron of the 2/14 Light Horse Regiment throughout training and got to know them well. We have established a good working relationship,” he added.
The MRF-D continues to explore other ways to work alongside Australia and other regional allies and partners. The unique training increases readiness and ability to respond to any crisis or contingency in the Indo-Pacific region.