Marines Magazine

The Official Magazine of the United States Marine Corps

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Functioning on flexibility: ‘America’s Battalion’ bolsters air-ground task force capabilities for Afghanistan

Functioning on flexibility: ‘America’s Battalion’ bolsters air-ground task force capabilities for Afghanistan

Pfcs. Greg Zecher and Nicholas Roberts, machine gunners with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, illuminate the night sky by firing tracer rounds and then reloading their weapons during Exercise Clear, Hold, Build 3 on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Sept. 21, 2011. The two-day evolution — part of the Enhanced Mojave Viper training exercise — enabled “America’s Battalion” to improve its capabilities as the ground combat element of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The exercise is their final pre-deployment training event before deploying to Afghanistan’s Helmand province next month to support Operation Enduring Freedom. Zecher, 19, is from Jacksonville, Fla. Roberts, 20, is from Erie, Pa.