Small Craft Company Rides Rivers in Argentina
Marines and Sailors attached to SmallCraft Company, Headquarters Battalion, 2d Marine Division arrived inArgentina for riverine training at 3rd Marine Infantry Battalion (BIM 3) last week.
The deployment was designed to enhance relations with their Argentinean counterparts and gave both militaries an opportunity to exchange tricks of the trade.
Small Craft Marines with attachments from India Company, 3d Battalion, 2d Marine Regiment taught classes on raids, patrols, small arms and optics, according to Sgt Antonio J. Poverelli, platoon sergeant for the 3/2 detachment and a Rowland Heights, Calif., native.
During training the Marines conducted a combined arms raid and several combined field exercises with their host nation.
The Small Craft Marines demonstrated the abilities of the Riverine Assault Craft (RAC) and the Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft (CRRC) to the Argentinean Marines and gave classes on safety and maneuver.
In exchange, the Argentineans taught their guests about their own small craft detachment of Guardian 22s and Zodiacs and gave their American counterparts a chance to push the boats to their limits on the Piranha River, west of Zarate, Argentina.
Bundled against the cool Argentina winter weather and the frigid water of the Piranha, the Small Craft Marines demonstrated their boat-handling skills to the Argentineans, who were not accustomed to the Camp Lejeune Leathernecks' "full-throttle" approach to training.
It took only a few hours to get the Argentineans to open up their throttles, trim their boats on the water and test the full abilities of their brand new Boston Whaler Guardian 22s.
The Guardian 22s, equipped with twin 150 h.p. engines, a bow-mounted M-2 .50 caliber machinegun and side mounts for up to four M-240G machineguns, impressed the Lejeune Marines with their speed and potential firepower.
"They didn't want to open up their boats all the way," said Sgt Trent D. Watts, a section leader with Small Craft Company and Astoria, Ore., native. "They only wanted to drive straight and slow. They should see how we train back on New River. We only have two speeds when training - stop, and wide open."
The Marines will spend three weeks training with the Argentinean Marines and conducting combined arms raids prior to traveling to Paraguay to continue their training with the Paraguayan and Bolivian military. They expect to return to Camp Lejeune in September.