Battery F returns from CATC Camp Fuji
CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa — Marines and sailors with Battery F returned to Camp Hansen Oct. 17 after completing training at Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji in support of Artillery Relocation Training Program 13-3.
Marines with the battery executed artillery live-fire engagements, crew-served weapons training and basic field training during the exercise to enhance their overall combat efficiency in preparation to respond to a crisis or contingency in the Asia-Pacific region.
Battery F is with 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 3rd Bn., 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program.
The Marines’ artillery-specific training was centered on M777A2 155 mm lightweight howitzer operation and a basic artillery maneuver known as reconnaissance, selection and occupation of a position.
“Although (this technique) primarily trains Marines how to move (their equipment), it also establishes expedient patterns to prepare for shooting and establishing communications quickly,” said 1st Lt. Scott E. Dunaway, a platoon commander with the battery.
After the guns were emplaced, the first volley was fired and the Marines loaded additional rounds, checked their alignments and maintained situational awareness for the duration of the live-fire mission.
“It can get hectic, but our job is crucial,” said Lance Cpl. Jeremiah J. Helms, a field artillery cannoneer with the battery. “We are able to support units from (far) away, fire on the enemy’s position, and eliminate them.”
Additionally, the Marines camouflaged their positions with netting and emplaced crew-served weapons, including M240B medium machine guns and MK-19 grenade launchers, around the perimeter for increased security.
“(An enemy) will direct actions against the field artillery to suppress, neutralize or destroy our capability to fight,” said Dunaway. “All field artillerymen must know and apply passive and active defense measures against artillery, air and ground attacks if they are to survive and provide continuous and responsive fire support.”
After the field training portion of ARTP 13-3 ended, the Marines visited several cultural sites near CATC Camp Fuji, including the Narusawa Museum of Mount Fuji, the Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine and an underground cave site, in addition to touring Tokyo.
The Marines took full advantage of the opportunity to visit the area and enjoy the popular sites, according to Lance Cpl. Jacob Castro, a field artillery cannoneer with the battery.
“After all the hard work we have done, being able to visit these places was a good experience,” said Castro. “I learned a lot from the culture surrounding the mountain, and if I could, I would love to come here again.”