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Station Marines dust off MCMAP skills with a little practice

By Pfc. M. Daniel Sanchez | | August 17, 2006

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Marines are world-renowned for their fierce fighting spirit, and units here are working to ensure no one forgets that.

Marines from across the station are taking Marine Corps Martial Arts Program refresher classes to advance themselves as warriors and leaders in hand-to-hand combat.

Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and Marine Air Control Squadron 1 are two of the units on station that recently developed MCMAP sustainment classes to keep Marines combat ready.

Gunnery Sgt. Freddy King, Aircraft Rescue Firefighting crash chief, and Sgt. William Branstetter, aircraft rescue firefighter, have been volunteering for the past two months to teach MCMAP sustainment courses for station Marines.

Warrant Officer Philip Campitelli, MACS-1 radar maintenance officer, has also been taking time to keep his Marines well versed in the ways of the Marine warrior.

MCMAP is a very important element in developing discipline and moral and physical character that Marines will need when faced with a combat situation, said Branstetter.

It is also one heck of a way to work out, said Campitelli. Running three miles is great, but can Marines run through the obstacle course four or five times, then come out and perform the moves when necessary?

That’s what is expected of Marines -- to push through fatigue and pain and still perform.

The courses consist of about 20 minutes of warm-up exercises, running through the station’s obstacle course about once a week, and reviewing belt techniques.

“I want to see the Marines walk away with an increased sense of pride and a heightened level of confidence in their MCMAP abilities,” said Branstetter.

Marines are also given the opportunity to upgrade to the next belt level, said Branstetter.

As more and more Marines get deployed overseas, it becomes increasingly more important for Marines to prepare themselves for combat, said Cpl. Daniel Walters, aircraft rescue firefighter.

The instructors come out here twice each week and volunteer their time to teach the class, so Marines should take advantage of the opportunity while it’s around, said Walters.

The H&HS classes are taught Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. at Ramada Field and are offered to all Marines. Campitelli said MACS-1 does not have a set schedule, but he would like to put one together for his Marines at the Cannon Air Defense Complex.

The class is for Marines who want to get that edge over their peers and take their combat training to the next level, said Branstetter. The instructors are eager to work with Marines of all belt levels from all over the station. It doesn’t matter what squadrons or sections they are part of, if they want to learn, all they have to do is show up.

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