CAMP GONSALVES, Japan - Boots pack the soft jungle mud as the
battalion moves through the trees. Eyes scan the area in search of
the next obstacle that stands in the way.
Marines with 3rd
Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, completed endurance training Feb. 12,
at the Jungle Warfare Training Center, Camp Gonsalves.
Jungle Warfare Training Center was established in order to train
military personnel how to maneuver and engage in combat while in a
jungle environment, according to Staff Sgt. David L. Cole, chief
instructor with JWTC, Camp Gonsalves, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley
D. Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific.
Marines climb ashore Feb. 12,
2014 at the Jungle Warfare Training Center
after passing through one of several obstacles during their
endurance test. The test is part of the unit's jungle training and
designed to test its physical and mental capabilities while in a
jungle environment. The JWTC is located on Camp Gonsalves, Marine
Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Marine Corps Installations
Pacific in Okinawa, Japan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. David Hersey)
“We have approximately 17,500 acres separated between
four training areas,” said Cole. “We use these areas to
train personnel how to make use of skills such as engaging
an enemy in combat, conducting reconnaissance, sharpening
survival skills, communication, casualty care, patrol and
various other skills in a jungle environment.”
the endurance test, the Marines maneuvered through a
four-mile trail. During their movement, the Marines
encountered obstacles such as waist-deep water and mud, rope
bridges, trenches, simulated enemy encounters, and a
simulated casualty event, in which they were required to
move a simulated victim with the help of a stretcher.
Through the hardships, the Marines built on their
teamwork and camaraderie, according to Sgt. Shawn M.
Gleason, a rifleman with Company I, 3rd Bn., 1st Marines,
currently assigned to 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, III
MEF, under the unit deployment program.
training made the Marines test their limits and help each
other to achieve their goal,” said Gleason. “When you begin
to think you can't do something, you begin to be able to
rely on the Marines to your left and right help you push
through your limits and beyond.”
The training ensures
that the unit will improve unit cohesion, as well as
efficiency by requiring the Marines to work together,
according to 1st Lt. Scott D. Suess, a platoon commander
with the unit.
“Everyone needs to (work) in order to
reach the goal in this kind of training,” said Suess. “The
leaders are right there with their Marines, enduring the
same obstacles with them and helping them to solve the
problems and achieve the mission.”
At the end of the
training, the Marines cleaned themselves and their equipment
and returned to their barracks, eagerly anticipating the
next time they could participate in the training.
“I'd love to do this test again if we have the opportunity,”
said Suess. “If we do, we'll be trying to beat our time for
getting it done from today.”
By U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David Hersey
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