Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA --
WJLA ABC News Channel 7 visited Marine Corps Base Quantico Nov. 8 to capture on live TV what Marines aboard base do on a daily basis. The station did 10 different live segments, two minutes each, as part of their “Thank you for your service” series done in honor of Veterans Day Nov. 11.
Eileen Whelan was the reporter for WJLA and Mike Rudd was the camera operator. The Quantico Communication Office, in conjunction with the base commands and tenant commands, worked hard to treat Whelan and Rudd to a rare and special behind- the- scenes look at Quantico’s mission, which includes manning, equipping, educating and training Marines. This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase to the surrounding communities how the base is an asset to the area.
Some of the things that were highlighted by WJLA include:
• The Provost Marshals Office (PMO) talked about how they ensure that the base and its personnel remain safe and also how they help with police duties in the surrounding communities. Quantico PMO has mutual aid agreements with the surrounding communities and responds to various crises and helps with investigations when needed. Interagency cooperation is essential to keeping the surrounding areas safe. The PMO responds to about 19 incidents a week in the surrounding communities.
• The K-9 unit representatives talked about how they are an integral part of keeping the base safe. They train their dogs to find illegal drugs and explosive devices before these dangerous things can be brought onto the base.
• Marine Corps Air Facility (MCAF) held a live training exercise in which Aircraft Rescue and Fire (ARF) showed how they would respond to an airfield mishap, such as a crash, and demonstrated with a real fire how they would extinguish the fire and rescue the crew and passengers inside an aircraft. MCAF also spoke about how they are the only Helicopter Support Squad for the president with HMX-1 and how they are experts in safety, having won a national safety award from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
• Officer Candidates School (OCS)highlighted officer’s training and how Quantico takes full responsibility for training Marine leaders.
• National Museum of the Marine Corps (NMMC) gave WJLA a walking tour of the museum, highlighting upcoming exhibits that will depict Marines starting after the Vietnam era and continuing up to the year 2015, including the wars in the Middle East, which Marines have supported.
• Weapons Training Battalion showcased how every Marine is a rifleman first and foremost and that the battalion trains Marines to excel at marksmanship. In addition, the Scout Sniper School was highlighted.
• Martial Arts Center of Excellence (MACE) showed how important martial art training is conducted aboard Quantico. All Marines, at minimum, are expected to obtain a tan belt, but can also train to become black belts. In addition to showcasing the martial arts program by Marines who participated in sparring, the reporter was also taken to the impressive bayonet field where more hand-to-hand combat fighting skills are acquired.
• Marines also demonstrated that they are willing to do anything to meet the mission, including participating in painful training. To show their honor, courage and commitment—the Marine Corps Values—they donned full combat gear, including vests and Kevlar and jumped in to freezing cold water.
View the segments at http://wjla.com/features/good-morning-washington/a-salute-to-the-troops-at-marine-corps-base-quantico.