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Engineers learn convoy leadership

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Improvised explosive device laden terrain presents an imminent threat to mission accomplishment but more importantly to the lives of service members serving throughout Afghanistan.

Marines and sailors with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group participated in the Convoy Leaders Course aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., from Jan. 10 to 14 to strengthen their awareness against these hidden dangers.

“Our experience really carries a lot of weight toward what these [Marines and sailors] are learning here in the classroom as well as in the field,” said Sgt. Marcus D. Jeansonne, an instructor at Battle Skills Training School. “We really try to instill situational awareness by providing real-life scenarios for everybody who completes the course.”

The course is one week long and incorporates classroom activities with field exercises, which helps the students gain experience. During the course, students learn the ins and outs of running a convoy.

“They can see how every single stage of a convoy works, from planning to execution and mission accomplishment,” Jeansonne added. Some of the practical application includes organization, how to employ every asset in the convoy, and mounted tactics.

As usual, in a training exercise experience plays an important role in the learning process, especially for those who haven’t deployed, Jeansonne explained. He also mentioned a lot of the participants in the course have deployment experience, and their knowledge enhanced the training evolution.

“I think it’s good for people with experience to participate and help others with less experience,” said Cpl. Dayron Gonzalez, from Miami, an engineer equipment operator with 8th ESB, 2nd MLG and a student in the course, who has deployed to Afghanistan already. “We can help make this training a little bit more realistic and make sure others with less experience are better prepared before they deploy.”

The course is offered at the BSTS in order to prepare units for upcoming deployments. The class helps Marines and sailors ready themselves to operate during convoy operations overseas where this knowledge can mean the difference between life and death.

Article by Cpl. Bruno J. Bego, 2nd Marine Logistics Group