The Brazilian Marine Corps’ (CFN, in Portuguese) Fleet Marine Squad (FFE, in Portuguese) of the Brazilian Navy, began the first cycle of training with the 2018 edition of Basic Team Training (ADEST-EQ 2018, in Portuguese) at the Marambaia Island Training Center (CADIM, in Portuguese), March 21st–April 23rd. The objective is to train service members on basic and individual combat procedures and prepare them for other operations throughout the year.
Four groups of marines, with about 600 service members each, took part in the training at different times. According to CFN Lieutenant Colonel Dirlei Donizette Côdo, coordinator of ADEST-EQ 2018, the exercise serves as the basis for marines training, prompting great care for activities to deliver positive results. “Small groups [of marines] who will take part in more complex exercises are put together and trained. If the quality of the exercise is compromised, there could be repercussions for other training events throughout the year,” explained Lt. Col. Dirlei.
CFN Captain Gabriel Ferreira Mattos, commander of the 1st Company from the 1st Marine Infantry Battalion, Riachuelo Battalion, was part of the exercise’s third group to train at CADIM, April 7th–15th. According to the officer, the exercise helps standardize marines’ basic knowledge. “Service members from the Amphibious Division and the Reinforcement Troop Command were among those participating,” Capt. Ferreira Mattos said. “Instructions to conduct patrols, map orientation, first aid, urban area military operations, jungle survival, mines and traps, swimming, ship training, and shooting on the move, among other activities, were part of the training,” he said.
The importance of individual shooting
According to Lt. Col. Dirlei, each activity has a specific goal. “Precision shooting, physical-military preparation, ground navigation, swimming, and the use of armored vehicles are all fundamental to marines,” he said, adding that live fire is among the most important requirements. “During ADEST-EQ 2018, countless exercises were conducted with individual and group weapons, using real ammunition so the amphibious combatant is always ready to use his weapon with efficiency and competence,” he said.
During the training, obstacle courses simulate real situations the FFE encounters in various types of operations. Marines are tested and trained to respond quickly when fulfilling their duties with the use of strategically placed targets.
One of the exercises took place on the Combat Group (GC, in Portuguese) obstacle course. During the activity, each group was put on patrol, while instructors simulated real combat scenarios, such as ambushes, attacks, and injuries, said Capt. Ferreira Mattos. “The objective was to evaluate GC command leadership, the correct use of rapid deployment tactics, and shooting squad formations for various situations,” he said.
According to Lt. Col. Dirlei, the 2018 edition stood out due to small group leaders’ autonomy and opportunity to show off their skills. “The training used a general cargo landing vessel, a Naval Air Force helicopter, light and heavy vehicles, as well as M-113 armored vehicles,” he said.
Service members from 17 FFE organizations took part in ADEST-EQ 2018. According to Lt. Col. Dirlei, a logistics structure was set up for the exercise to take place. “Moving 2,400 people to Restinga da Marambaia takes a major land and sea transport effort, and for the actual setup with requirements inherent to an exercise of this size,” he said.
The exercise contributes to marines’ individual and team preparation to conduct trainings at subunit levels (SU, in Portuguese)—i.e., a company—and unit levels (U), that is, a battalion. A battalion or unit can have multiple companies or subunits. “The effective use of SUs and Us from the get-go is related to small groups’ level of preparation,” Lt. Col. Dirlei said. “In addition, it contributes to marines’ performance while carrying out a mission, both for the protection of our borders, and for the success of all operations FFE participates in.”
The marines’ training cycle, beginning with ADEST-EQ, continues throughout 2018 with several operations, according to information from FFE. Some examples include: a Basic Subunit Infantry Exercise (SUBEX-INF, in Portuguese), which focuses on ground operations; and a Rapid Force Deployment preparation (ADEST-FER, in Portuguese), which strives to maintain operational readiness at all times. Additionally, there is Operation Formosa, considered one of FFE’s largest exercises in the central plateau, and Operation Dragon (Operação Dragão), the most thorough marine training, which involves all phases of an amphibious operation.