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Okinawa-based Marines refine their skills during Exercise Samurai

By Lance Cpl. Damion Hatch, 3rd Marine Division

U.S. Marine Cpl. Jason Cheama posts security during Exercise Samurai Jan. 23, 2018, on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. Marines with Headquarters and Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Division trained to refine their skills for Division operations in an expeditionary environment. Cheama, a native of Zuni, New Mexico, supported the exercise as an assistant team leader in a provisional rifle squad.
Okinawa-based Marines refine skills during Exercise Samurai
U.S. Marine Cpl. Jason Cheama posts security during Exercise Samurai Jan. 23, 2018, on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. Marines with Headquarters and Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Division trained to refine their skills for Division operations in an expeditionary environment. Cheama, a native of Zuni, New Mexico, supported the exercise as an assistant team leader in a provisional rifle squad.
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Nathon Peterson provides security during Exercise Samurai Jan. 23, 2018, on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. Marines with Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division trained to refine their skills for Division operations in an expeditionary environment. Peterson, a native of Hamilton, Montana, supported the exercise as a rifleman in a provisional rifle platoon.
Okinawa-based Marines refine skills during Exercise Samurai
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Nathon Peterson provides security during Exercise Samurai Jan. 23, 2018, on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. Marines with Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division trained to refine their skills for Division operations in an expeditionary environment. Peterson, a native of Hamilton, Montana, supported the exercise as a rifleman in a provisional rifle platoon.
U.S. Marine Sgt. Stafford Melerine posts security in the tree line during Exercise Samurai Jan. 23, 2018, on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. Marines with Headquarters and Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Division trained to refine their skills for Division operations in an expeditionary environment. Melerine, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, is a diesel mechanic and supported the exercise as the platoon sergeant for the security platoon.
Okinawa-based Marines refine skills during Exercise Samurai
U.S. Marine Sgt. Stafford Melerine posts security in the tree line during Exercise Samurai Jan. 23, 2018, on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. Marines with Headquarters and Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Division trained to refine their skills for Division operations in an expeditionary environment. Melerine, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, is a diesel mechanic and supported the exercise as the platoon sergeant for the security platoon.
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.”