Marines with 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, perform a beach landing on a landing craft air cushion during their annual training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 16, 2016. Annual training exercises ensure that Reserve Marines are trained and prepared for any future operation or contingency. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Gabrielle Quire)
CAMP PENDLETON, Ca — 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, kicked off its main annual training event July 12, 2016, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.

The exercise, which will run through July 22, focuses on conducting amphibious operations with mechanized assets going from ship to shore.

“The guys with 4th Tanks are very eager to learn and being able to conduct amphibious operations is part of what makes the Marine Corps completely unique,” said Cpl. Nicholas Figueroa, crew chief for 3rd Amphibious Assault Bn., 1st Marine Division. “It’s very important that Marines train with the amphibious assault vehicles and also the landing craft air cushions, so we have the capability to carry artillery, tanks, troops, supplies and ammo from ship to shore. The Reserve Marines don’t get that training every day and it’s my job to make sure they’re at their peak readiness.”

During annual training, forces utilize active duty Inspector-Instructor staff to ensure Reserve Marines meet training and readiness standards for worldwide deployment.

“Our training is important because there are a lot of crises around the world today and we need to ensure Marines are trained and prepared, so if the Reserves get called to go fight a foreign enemy overseas they’re ready.” Master Gunnery Sgt. Ishmael Castillo, I&I operations chief with 4th Tank Bn.

For the remainder of the exercise 4th Tank Bn. will conduct fire support training by calling in fire missions with the help of supporting units to set up for the culminating event, which consists of 36 hours of offensive and defensive operations. During the event, 4th Tank Bn. will engage a notional enemy with a company of 14 tanks. This is the first time in over a decade tanks have fired main gun rounds on Camp Pendleton.