Photo Information

Corporal William Nash uses a radio during training at Marine Corps Outlying Field Atlantic, N.C., July 14, 2014. Members of Marine Wing Support Squadron 272 established a forward arming and refueling point at the new military operations in urbanized terrain facility to simulate a deployed environment. Nash is a field radio operator with the squadron.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua R. Heins

MWSS-272 conducts training at new MOUT town

23 Jul 2014 | Lance Cpl. Joshua R. Heins

Marine Wing Support Squadron 272 conducted forward arming and refueling point training at Marine Corps Outlying Field Atlantic, N.C., July 14.

The squadron established a FARP at OLF Atlantic using the newly completed military operations in urban terrain facility as a hasty combat operations center. They were the first unit to use the new military operations in urbanized terrain facility for that purpose.

"We are preparing for future deployments," said Capt. Michelle Roberts, the assistant operations officer with MWSS-272. "One of the biggest challenges we will face while deployed is operating in multiple locations. This facility simulates these locations, allowing our Marines to be more prepared."

The Marine Corps Air Station New River based squadron used the new complex as a forward arming and refueling point, motor pool and combat operations center, communicating back to a simulated forward operating base at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, according to Roberts.

"Having this new complex is a real benefit for our squadron. The complex is located two hours from the squadron, which allows us to plan and execute training outside our normal boundaries," said Roberts.

The new facility also serves as a training site for units belonging to II Marine Expeditionary Force. The MOUT town contains more than 20 buildings to help units, such as Camp Lejeune based Marine expeditionary units, to gain special operations capable status during pre-deployment training, according to Kenneth Cobb, the range management supervisor at Cherry Point.

"Over the past 10 years, the Marine Corps has invested more than 800 million dollars in range (improvements) across Marine Corps installations," said Cobb. "The new training facility was initiated as part of that strategy in 2007."

As a multipurpose facility, Marines from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and II MEF can use the MOUT town for a variety of training scenarios, including airfield seizure and close quarters combat. The austerity of the facility helps Marines better prepare for challenges in an expeditionary environment, according to Lance Cpl. David Martinez Jr., an embarkation specialist with the squadron.

"Many of the jobs in a support squadron are hands on," said Martinez. "You can't just practice deployments from the back yard of the squadron, so having a place to set up and do our jobs makes Marines feel more confident in what they can do."