CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. – More than 200 Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton conducted ‘back in the saddle’ training here, Jan. 5.
The training was designed to bring Marines back up to speed after the holidays and covered health, personal safety and unit safety. It also provided an opportunity for the Marines to focus on esprit de corps through a conditioning hike and a paintball competition.
“Basically it entails several classes, not just annual training, that is very pertinent to what the Marines are going to face on a day-to-day basis,” said Maj. Jesse McKeeman, the director of safety with the Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton.
Marines are required to take the classes twice a year: once during winter and once in summer. The classes cover a range of topics including promotions and awards, hazing, equal opportunity, education and sexual assault prevention.
In addition, the Marines were briefed on the Operational Risk Management process, which taught them how to respond to situations that may arise during all Marine Corps activities, including joint, multinational and interagency environments.
"Doing this training on a regular basis, twice a year, is simply a way to get practice and to get the knowledge ingrained into your system so that the muscle memory is there when something happens,” said McKeeman. “The Marines will have something to fall back on.”
The Marines finished off their training with a six mile hike in the rain, with about 4,000 feet of elevation changes, and a free-for-all, single-elimination paintball competition between teams within the unit.
“Being able to come together like this as a unit and do a hike right after the holidays really helps build morale,” said Lance Cpl. Kyle Larrick, an aviation ordnance systems technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton. “I’m not too excited about the rain.”
“There’s sections in the Marine Corps that don’t get to do this more often, but this is what makes us Marines,” added McKeeman.