By Lance Cpl. Erik S. Brooks Jr
COMBINED ARMS TRAINING CENTER, CAMP FUJI, Japan – Marines with 3rd Marine Logistics Group conducted patrol movements, ambushes and assaults against a mock enemy here March 8-9.
The Marines, with Combat Logistics Regiments 35 and 37 conducted the two-day exercise in the forests surrounding Mount Fuji.
“This exercise allowed our Marines, who have support (military occupational specialties), to train up to the infantry tactics,” said 2nd Lt. Matthew R. Massman, a combat engineer with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, CLR-35, and a platoon commander during the training. “It got them out of their comfort zone to see what the infantry is doing. It allowed them to become proficient, and someday they can pass the things learned to their future subordinates.”
Both regiments are part of 3rd MLG, III Marine Expeditionary Force. Iwakuni-based Combat Logistics Company 36 also participated in the annual cold-weather training exercise.
The exercise started off with two platoons being dropped off in a landing zone by 7-ton trucks. After arriving, the platoons went their separate ways to patrol their respective areas, said Lance Cpl. Grace A. Reid, a combat engineer with 9th ESB.
After patrolling to their designated grid coordinates, the Marines set up a patrol base. Then, the Marines set up a 360-degree security perimeter to protect against enemy attackers.
“We set up a 360-degree security because we were operating in (a mock) enemy area,” said Massman. “The 360 allows us to protect against enemy threat from all directions.”
After digging into their positions, the platoon commander dispatched a reconnaissance patrol.
“The reconnaissance patrol was sent out to scout for any enemy movement in the surrounding area,” said Massman.
Then, another squad of Marines was ordered to conduct an ambush on an enemy patrol in the area.
Using land navigation skills, learned earlier during the exercise, the Marines maneuvered their way to the ambush site.
When the Marines arrived, they set up the ambush and waited for the enemy patrol to walk into the kill zone. After the enemy walked into the line of fire, the Marines ambushed the patrol. When the enemy fell, the Marines sent a squad to verify the mission was successful.
“We needed to approach the enemy to make sure they were down and to check for any military gear that could be useful against (the enemy),” said Reid.
After the simulated firefight, the Marines headed back to their patrol base where their platoon was posted.
Upon arriving, the platoon began an attack on another enemy position, said Sgt. Derek R. Smith, a combat engineer with 9th ESB.
The platoon was given grid coordinates of the enemy position and moved out. When within attacking distance, the platoon sent out a reconnaissance team to scout the area for the best method of attack.
“Our platoon attacked a squad-sized element of enemy forces,” said Smith.
When the reconnaissance team pushed forward, it found the enemy was much closer than anticipated, said Smith.
The platoon quickly adapted to the situation and attacked the enemy position.
After the enemy position was cleared, the platoon set up another patrol base where it established a security perimeter and spent the night. The following day it was time to link up with the other platoon.
Each platoon was ordered to move to an organized rally point near the enemy position for a company-sized attack.
“The company set up support-by-fire positions around the enemy, which allowed us the most fire support against the enemy,” said Massman.
Each platoon moved into its on-line attack formation and in unison maneuvered toward the enemy lines. After breaching the first line of enemy defense, the Marines used buddy rushes until the enemy was completely overrun.
The scenario provided valuable infantry refresher training for the Marines.