DOWNEY - Two Downey Marines recently completed a six-week training program with partner nations in Southeast Asia.Marine Cpl. Miguel Jose Denis and Marine Lance Cpl. Eduardo Trejo, both residents of Downey, recently participated in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), which lasted from early May to mid-June. CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises held between the U.S. and Southeast Asian militaries. Denis, a fire team leader, and Trejo, a machine gunner, volunteered to deploy for more than six weeks as part of the Marine landing force embarked aboard the transport dock ship USS Tortuga. Their parent command is Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, a reserve company headquartered in Los Alamitos. Throughout the exercise Denis and Trejo trained with the Royal Thai Marines, Indonesian Marines and Malaysian Rangers. "I really enjoyed spending time with the militaries of other nations, especially the Royal Thai Marines," Trejo said. "It was never a dull moment with them. They were just as eager to learn and trade with us as we were with them. The language was never a problem." U.S. Marines trained with the militaries on jungle survival and warfare, military operations in urban terrain, martial arts, combat marksmanship, combat lifesaving skills and amphibious operations. "Though difficult, and tiring, traveling to other countries was a great experience," said Trejo. "I truly enjoyed training with foreign militaries and the culture exchange that came with it. I would not trade it for the world." In addition to begin a Marine, Denis is a student at Cerritos College. He graduated from Warren High School in 2006. Trejo graduated from Downey High School in 2009. To see photos of the Marines and sailors participating in CARAT, "like" the Marine Forces Reserve on Facebook at facebook.com/marforres.
********** Published: June 30, 2011 - Volume 11 - Issue 10