No prisoners: Marines train to retake facility from terrorists

No prisoners: Marines train to retake facility from terrorists

Two Marine fire teams race through a doorway at 2nd Maintenance Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group's compound aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 27, 2013. The servicemembers spent more than an hour engaging their peers in simulated urban combat during a training exercise held at the base. Photo by Cpl Paul Peterson.

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (April 1, 2013) - "The aggressors are inside our compound... there will be no prisoners."

The words launched the battle to retake 2nd Maintenance Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group's facilities from simulated terrorists, who infiltrated the site, March 27. Nearly one dozen Marines posed as insurgents, planted improvised explosive devices throughout the area, and hunkered down for the coming assault.

"This is on a much more personal level," said Sgt William A. Dalzell, a light armored vehicle technician with the battalion. "This is my home right now, my work area, not some little compound out in the woods."

The unit outfitted each Marine with a load of blank ammunition and the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System, or MILES, which uses lasers to simulate actual bullets.

"I'm not going to just be looking for a cardboard cutout of the enemy," said Dalzell, a Lake Geneva, Wis., native who fought against the Marines as an insurgent. "The enemy is going to be mobile, and they're going to be an actual threat this time."

Dozens of Marines trickled through the entrance of the compound. They moved in rushes, one Marine providing cover as his teammates raced to close the distance to the buildings.

"It all depends on the aggressors," said SSgt Noe H. Verduzco, a maintenance chief with the battalion who took part in the training. "The biggest thing is getting through fast and communicating … as long as they communicate with each other, they should be able to clear the way through the doorway and into rooms. Everything else from there will be a surprise."

Dalzell and another insurgent hid within one of the battalion's buildings and waited to ambush the Marines. Their instructions were clear – give no quarter, expect none in return.

"If you're the first guy going through the door, you don't know if that's the last door you're going to go through," said Verduzco, a native of San Diego. "It all depends on how the aggressors want to place themselves. It's the unexpected, which kind of brings a bit of reality because you never know what to expect."

Fire teams of four or more Marines rushed into buildings across the compound. Gunfire erupted in the maintenance bay as a group of servicemembers sprinted past work benches and vehicles. One Marine went down, his MILES gear humming a single tone to signify he was hit

"It got frantic," said Dalzell, recalling the moments after he opened fire on a group of Marines. "[The] adrenaline started pumping."

Individual battles raged in offices, parking lots and work spaces across the compound.

"Once they realized they were taking contact, they all found cover, and eventually they just dispersed and started to maneuver toward my [location]," said Dalzell. "I was overwhelmed, and I had Marines on the left and the right."

In approximately an hour and a half, the assault force isolated Dalzell and the other insurgents, neutralizing the entire group of terrorists. The Marines carried their simulated wounded out of the battle area and finished their sweep of the compound. Two hours later, the fight raged again as another group of Marines squared off inside the compound.

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