Golf Company brushes up on skills

20 Oct 2000 | Lance Cpl. Allan J. Grdovich

The Marines and Sailors of Battalion Landing Team 2/2's Golf Company, part of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), hit the rocky shores here as part of a multi-national amphibious landing, beginning their part of the first phase of Exercise Destined Glory 2000.

The amphibious landing via 19 Combat Rigid Raider Craft (CRRC) was a sea-to-shore assault to provide security for the rapid buildup of incoming allied forces.

Once the Marines landed on the beachhead, they established a wall of security for Spanish Italian Landing Force (SILF) teams who were coming in from the north via mechanized raid.

According to Capt. Kenneth Kassner, Golf Co., BLT 2/2 company commander, the Marines landed quickly and with ease.

"They did exactly what we train for," said Kassner, who's men have conducted several amphibious landings since the 26th MEU (SOC)'s Mediterranean deployment began. "That experience showed in everything they did there."

Kassner also points out they did not do it alone. Weapons Platoons from BLT 2/2's Echo and Fox Companies provided follow-on reinforcement and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264 provided rotary-wing close air support.

Once the assault was complete and the objectives were secure, the Marines and Sailors moved immediately into another event.

Individual team leaders led their platoons on several forced marches and brushed up on basic infantry skills such as trench clearing, day and night land navigation in Turkey's mountainous terrain and live-fire exercises.

"The night land navigation and live-fire were my favorite," said Sgt. Matt Thuma, 2nd Squad Leader and Tipp City, Ohio, native. "We performed part of the exercise with NVGs [Night Vision Goggles]."

Overall, the Company's small-unit leaders said the amphibious assault and follow-on training were a success.

"This was a great opportunity for my squad leaders to instruct their squads and build leadership skills," said 1stLt. Mike Ogden, Golf Company's 3rd Platoon commander. "The terrain made for different types of training than what we get back in the states. And that?s what it?s all about."