centered on a single individual barricaded in a house on Laurel Bay. The
simulation was designed to be as realistic as possible to give the Marines a
chance to test their capabilities.
“We did a hostage
and barricaded suspect drill.” said Gunnery Sgt. Jermiah Conn, operations chief
with PMO. “The scenario began as a domestic disturbance and escalated into a
hostage situation. We brought in different units from PMO and canine units for
our tactical support. The end result was the suspect surrendering to us.”
The training area
was controlled by cordoning off a residential area of Laurel Bay and
constructing a temporary fence. The barrier ensured that the training site was
a controlled environment with no outside elements interfering.
“There are constraints
to working on Laurel Bay,” said CWO2 Chad Sitz, the CID investigations officer.
“We are responsible for the living
community with three schools but, in the end, we need to be prepared for any
possible security threat.”
The PMO units from
MCAS Beaufort and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island are the first
responders for security threats aboard either installation or military housing
facility. It is necessary for Marines to train under realistic circumstances
should a real world situation arise.
“We utilized real
live assets and manpower that we would have on the scene,” said Conn. “We made
sure to only use the resources that would be available to us in a real
situation. Everyone was on a realistic time line.”
section of PMO trains individually to become proficient in their job fields.
This scenario was a chance for them to work with other sections as part of one
this helps the Marines work on their tactical and communication skills,” said
Conn. “It is easy to sit and work through a scenario one-on-one but, when we
are out here, there are a lot more variables involved.”
Leaders had to
coordinate with SRT and CID to get the most up to date information on the scene
and make decisions in real time. It was just as much a test for them as it was
for the participating teams.
“It is important
for Marines to see how the entire system works from top to bottom,” said Sitz. “We
had everyone from Privates First Class to senior officers on the scene to
rehearse their roles.”
Each section had a
specific role to play in the field. CID was in charge of communicating with the
subject and gathering information while SRT physically interacted with the
suspect utilizing their tactical equipment. The simulation was resolved without
major mistakes made by law enforcement.
“The Marines did
quite well today,” said Conn. “There were a few minor mistakes that we need to
review but, all-in-all, they did a pretty good job and we maintained
communication between our assets and the command post.”
The PMO Marines of
the Tri-command train year round for any crises that may arise. They conduct
real world scenarios like this approximately three or four times a year.