2nd Recon Gets Muddy with the Razor

2nd Recon Gets Muddy with the Razor

Marines with Alpha Company, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion drive Polaris Razors over a hill at Landing Zone Falcon during a basic recreational off-highway vehicle training qualification course on Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 1, 2015. The course is designed to introduce Marines to the two-seater all-terrain vehicle, and familiarize them to its capabilities and safety consideration. Photo by Cpl Alexander Mitchell.

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina (September 9, 2015) – The smell of gas, the roar of loud engines, and the weight of mud-covered desert Marine pattern uniform were just some things to expect for Marines with Alpha Company, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, on Sept. 1, 2015, at Mile Hammock Bay on Camp Lejeune, N.C.

More than 20 Marines with the company are taking the basic recreational off-highway vehicle training qualification course to ride the Polaris Razor, a two-seater, all-terrain vehicle, weighing 1,200 pounds.

"By using these assets for the Marine Corps, they are going to have fresher boots on the ground," said Jesse Turner, the safety instructor for the course.  "The Marines won't have to hike as far to get to where they are going because they can take the razors or load them into a helicopter and drop them off on scene.

The vehicles are agile, narrow and can easily traverse terrain which other vehicles cannot, explained Turner.

"As far as forward deployment, they are going to be operating these vehicles in towns, villages, narrow wooded areas and rock out-crops in mountainous areas," Turner said.

The qualification courses are designed so the Marines can become familiarized with the machine and understand the use and safety of it before they are deployed.

"These vehicles are very [complex] and have a lot of capabilities," Cpl Dylan Burke, a radio telecommunications operator with Alpha Company, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion.  "So learning how to operate them now will ensure we properly do it in the future."

Turner made sure all of the Marines properly demonstrated safety operations during the course, so when the unit is conducting an exercise outside the country the Marines can have all personnel and gear make it to the fight and back safely.

"They have got to be able to operate these machines safely," said Turner.  "If a Marine goes out there and gets hurt while riding he is no good to the unit and the operation.

By safely operating the all-terrain vehicle, Marines with the unit can carry out a mission more effectively if the area or terrain is too harsh for other vehicles.

"Using the razor increases our operational distance," said Burke. "We can insert them via helicopter and go a lot further than we can on foot and carry a lot more gear.  It increases our range and capabilities as a unit much more."

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