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  • 2018
Okinawa-based Marines refine their skills during Exercise Samurai

By Lance Cpl. Damion Hatch, 3rd Marine Division

During the exercise, Marines refine their skills to better support Division operations in an expeditionary environment.
Okinawa-based Marines refine skills during Exercise Samurai
U.S. Marines receive their final orders to establish a forward operations center Jan. 23, 2018 on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, for Exercise Samurai. During the exercise, Marines refine their skills to better support Division operations in an expeditionary environment. The Marines are assigned Headquarters and Service Battalion, 3rd Marine Division.
During the exercise, Marines refine their skills to better support Division operations in an expeditionary environment.
Okinawa-based Marines refine skills during Exercise Samurai
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Carlie Castillo (left) and Lance Cpl. Nathan Peterson (right) escort a convoy Jan. 23, 2018 on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, during Exercise Samurai. During the exercise, Marines refine their skills to better support Division operations in an expeditionary environment. Castillo, a native of Marquette, Michigan, and Peterson, a native of Hamilton, Montana, are with Headquarters and Service Battalion, 3rd Marine Division.
During the exercise, Marines refine their skills to better support Division operations in an expeditionary environment.
Okinawa-based Marines refine skills during Exercise Samurai
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Adam Glass sets up radio communications at Kin Blue, Okinawa, Japan, Jan. 23, 2018 during Exercise Samurai. During the exercise, Marines refine their skills to better support Division operations in an expeditionary environment. Glass, native of Mountairy, North Carolina, is a radio operator with Headquarters and Service Battalion, 3rd Marine Division.
During the exercise, Marines refine their skills to better support Division operations in an expeditionary environment.
Okinawa-based Marines refine skills during Exercise Samurai
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Carlie Castillo provides security at a convoy checkpoint Jan. 23, 2018 on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, during Exercise Samurai. During the exercise, Marines refine their skills to better support Division operations in an expeditionary environment. Castillo, a native of Marquette, Michigan, is an administrative clerk with Headquarters and Service Battalion, 3rd Marine Division.

Marines with Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division participated in a five-day exercise called Samurai, Jan. 22-26, 2018. 

During the exercise, the Marines learned the fundamentals of being a “Division Forward” by planning and constructing a command center while keeping a constant line of communication. 

In a real life scenario, the commanding general will send their division forward to establish a command center to get all the information they need. 

“For the commanding general to get eyes on forward units and to plan for the future, he requires his eyes and ears to go first,” said Capt. Kyle Britt, the camp commandant for the exercise. “This includes units convoying to different locations to set up small and very mobile camps.”

The procedure had Marines bring enough supplies and equipment to a secured and surveyed area where they set up and broke down the command center as quickly as possible. 

“We have a security element going out to secure objectives, the [coordination] party to play out the blue print of the camps and the working party to build the camps,” said Britt. 

The training gave those who have never deployed the opportunity to perform their jobs in a field environment.

“This exercise gives Marines more experience being in the field, and it’s a helpful reminder that we are Marines,” said Lance Cpl. Kelwin Diaz, a radio maintainer for the exercise. “There is a possibility that we will deploy in the future, and it gives us a chance to prepare for it mentally and physically.”