NOUMEA, New Caledonia -- Marines and Sailors with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment participated in the French Nautical Commando Course during exercise Koa Moana 17, July 3-7, 2017, in Noumea, New Caledonia.
The course, normally used by French special forces, is typically three weeks long, but was condensed to five days so the U.S. service members could get a taste.
“It was very challenging, both physically and mentally,” said Staff Sgt. Nathan McLain, an infantry unit leader with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, currently deployed to Koa Moana 17. “The French soldiers that we trained with were easy to work with, and quite similar to Marines as far as discipline and professionalism; being able to do it with them made it much more bearable.”
With only one Meal Ready to Eat (MRE) per day, and very little sleep, the Marines and Sailors were tested day and night with events such as a water obstacle course, martial arts training, rappelling and hiking.
“We got to do a lot of things that we aren’t familiar with back in 29 Palms,” said Sgt. Elvis Nunez, a rifleman with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, currently deployed to Koa Moana 17. “That kept us out of our comfort zone and forced us to rely on each other, including the French soldiers we trained