Marines Wrapping Up Urban Training - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/05/05

Marines Wrapping Up Urban Training

Hundreds of Marines have been training in Savannah, and no doubt they have heard about the recent deadly attacks in Iraq. They don't want their fellow Marines to have died in vain, so they are training and will soon take their place on the front lines of the war.

UH-1 Huey helicopters have been doing touch-and-go training in Savannah for the past two weeks. Today, their training took them to a field at Old Fort Jackson. About 600 Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, are here for urban warfare training.

"Urban training is vital for the kind of enemies we are dealing with around the world," said Capt. Eric Dent.

While the Marines have been immersed in their training here, they are not oblivious to what's been happened with their fellow Marines fighting in Iraq. They know what a deadly week this has been.

Twenty-one Marines have been killed this week alone, 14 of them Wednesday when a roadside bomb blew up their amphibious assault vehicle.

"Any time, if it's one or 14 like the other day, it hurts, it's tragic," said Capt. Dent. "But it hardens our resolve. We know what we are going to do. The insurgents think they can fight us by breaking the will of the American people, but we're Marines, this is what we do and it just makes us tougher."

They are going to need all the toughness they can muster. They are next in line to help their fellow Marines fighting in the Middle East.

"About half the Marines in our unit have been in combat either in Iraq of Afghanistan, so we have a lot of lessons we've learned from ourselves and our brothers," said Capt. Dent.

And hopefully the lessons learned in Savannah will also help them win their fight.

The Marines will end their training in Savannah tomorrow.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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