Regiment Soldiers Training At US Marine Base

May 5, 2015

Bermuda Regiment soldiers started the first day of training of a tough two weeks at a US Marine Corps base in North Carolina.

While some troops practiced their rifle skills on the range, others used the wide open spaces of Camp Lejeune for patrol and section attack techniques.

The Operational Support Unit [OSU], the Regiment’s public order specialists, spent their first morning on the firing ranges.

OSU member Lance Corporal Philip Woolridge – known as L/Cpl Colgate because he’s always smiling no matter how tough the task – said: “I’m really looking forward to living in the field and I like the long ranges because it takes real skill.

“It takes discipline, effort and patience. It’s about dedication and these are all things you can apply to anything – your job, your marriage, whatever.”

The 2013 conscript, a 23-year-old appliance and refrigeration technician from Paget, added: “I plan to stay in the Regiment once my time is up. I enjoy going to Warwick Camp.”

Operational Support soldiers on the firing ranges with hi-tech H&K G-36 rifles.

Regiment Soldiers’ Training At US (1)

OSU commander Lieutenant Paulo Odoli said: “Achieving a level of mastery at shooting gives the individual a sense of satisfaction and increases their pride in themselves.”

Lt Odoli, 30, the manager of Tempest restaurant in St George’s, added: “Everybody in this unit wants to be here and they respond accordingly.”

Private Lee Ann Tucker, a member of the Junior Non-Commissioned Officer [JNCO] Cadre, also spent her first day honing her rifle skills.

The 23-year-old waitress/bartender at Hamilton’s Taste restaurant, from St George’s, said: “I’m stoked.

“I can always apply what I learn here somewhere else. And I enjoy the range work and just keep trying to get better.”

Pte Tucker, who won the best recruit award at this year’s Recruit Camp, added: “I’m open to the entire experience and to learn.”

Pte Tremayne Bean, a 20-year-old outboard motor technician from Paget, said: “I’m loving it – it’s a different environment . I want to get my first stripe so this is making me push myself harder.

A Company soldiers start a practice attack on opposing forces during training at Camp Lejuene.

Regiment Soldiers’ Training At US (2)

“I’m really looking forward to the two weeks – the range work is great and not something we could do at home.”

Around 180 soldiers arrived at Camp Lejeune on Sunday evening – and got straight into training at dawn on Monday.

Camp Lejeune covers 226 square miles compared to Bermuda’s 26 square miles and, including families and civilians, has a population of around 132,000 people.

The Bermuda Regiment has been training at Camp Lejeune since the 1980s – but the scale of the area and the 46,000 Marine and US Navy personnel plus their equipment, which includes tanks, fighter jets and massive transport aircraft. still surprise Bermuda soldiers.

The training areas are home to a number of protected species – and poisonous snakes, including Water Moccasins, a venomous member of the viper family.

A Water Moccasin paid an unscheduled visit to Bermuda soldiers on the ranges today – and caused some excitement, although it posed no threat to the troops.s on the firing line.

A Bermuda Regiment soldier from A Company takes aim during training at Camp Lejeune.

Regiment Soldiers’ Training At US (3)

One Water Moccasin Soldiers from A Company used the extensive training areas to practice platoon tactics.

Instructor Sergeant Patricia Alexander, from Crawl, said: “It’s all about working in formation, movement, speed and communication.

“Doing this and section attacks means the soldiers learn how to communicate with each other better and communication in one field helps in every field.

Sgt Alexander, 27, an analyst with the Bermuda Monetary Authority, added: “It also teaches them to be alert and aware of their surroundings – that all makes them better soldiers and it’s another check on their belt for training.”

A Coy Private Michael Astwood-Smith, a 23-year-old warehouseman from Pembroke, added: “I’m enjoying it.

“It gives me a more positive outlook, I’d say. For me, it’s the collaboration and teamwork – you have to deal with different personalities.

“We’re a diverse group of individuals and it’s all good experience you can take into civilian life.”

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