Marines Stay Ready Through Basic Combat Skills Course

Marines Stay Ready Through Basic Combat Skills Course

LCpl Alyse Griffis, a Detroit native and a landing support specialist with Combat Logistics Battalion 11, 1st Marine Logistics Group, provides security for her fellow Marines during a squad rushing drill as part of the Basic Combat Skills Course at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Nov. 20, 2015. BCSC serves as a re-familiarization course for non-infantry Marines, teaching the fundamental skills needed to operate in a combat zone. Photo by LCpl Devan Gowans.

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (November 30, 2015) – Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 11, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, kicked off their round of participation in the Basic Combat Skills Course, Nov. 17, 2015.

Keeping Marines combat ready and upholding the deep-rooted tradition of "every Marine a warfighter," the instructors of Combat Skills Training School aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, facilitate the smooth operation of the Basic Combat Skills Course for non-infantry Marines.

The purpose of the weeklong course is to improve upon the principles first taught to non-infantry Marines during recruit training and Marine Combat Training.

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 11, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, kicked off their round of participation in BCSC, Nov. 17, 2015.

"This course serves as a refresher for the Marines," said Sgt William Fabrocini, a Los Angeles native, and an instructor with the Combat Skills Training School. The objective is for them to be immersed in a field environment, learning skills that they wouldn't typically learn in their respective garrison workplaces, Fabrocini added.

After classroom instruction on basic orienteering and proper use of the lensatic compass, the Marines hiked up Engineer Hill to their designated training area where they took part in a dead reckoning land navigation course. This course allows them to exercise their knowledge with one of the most dependable navigation methods in the Marine Corps.

"In today's world, we have access to GPS devices conveniently placed in digital watches or smartphones," said Sgt Grant Voss, a platoon sergeant with CLB 11. "It's vital that they learn how to make use of the compass because of its accuracy and reliability."

As the sun fell and darkness was cast on the area, the Marines were introduced to an even more difficult land navigation course, including a night patrol, where they traversed the terrain behind the green glow of night-vision optics.

Over the course of the week, the Marines applied the practical concepts of patrolling, long-distance hikes, personnel searching, counter improvised explosive device scenarios and room clearing in a simulated urban combat town; all scenarios that they will likely find themselves facing in a deployed environment.

At the end of the week, the culminating event of the course took place, evaluating the Marines new understanding of rudimentary combat tactics.

"It's a different experience when you put on all of your gear," said Lance Cpl, Alexander Sieck, a Greenville, California native, and data network specialist with CLB 11, and a student in the course. "Not many of us have opportunities like this to come out to the field and practice these tactics that could potentially save our lives someday in a combat environment."

The BCSC serves as a means of advancement for the combat effectiveness of non-infantry Marines and CLB 11 Marines' iteration of the course has provided them with important training they can use in a combat zone to function effectively as a unit.

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