Bravo Battery lights up sky during ARTP 14-2
YAUSUBETSU MANEUVER AREA, HOKKAIDO, Japan -- Marines with Battery B, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, took part in the battalion phase of live-fire artillery training Aug. 28 to Sept. 2 during Artillery Relocation Training Program 14-2 at Yausubetsu Maneuver Area in Hokkaido.
For many of the Marines, ARTP 14-2 is the first artillery training exercise they have performed in Japan, according to Cpl. Aaron G. Cohen, a field artillery cannoneer with the battery currently assigned to 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“This is my first time training in Japan,” said Cohen, from Houston, Texas. “This training area is very good. We were able to get a lot of movements in throughout the exercise, practicing emplacements and displacements. Artillery is all about shoot, move and communicative tactics. We were able to get several movements in each day with the training space provided to us.”
Along with ample space to execute movements, the Marines of Battery B used the training opportunity to strengthen the battery as a whole, according to Cohen.
“This exercise really brought the Marines closer together,” said Cohen. “Each time we go to the field, we rotate the Marines on the gun crews, so during each exercise the gun crews are never completely the same. This benefits the whole battery by first enabling any Marine to get on the gun line and send rounds downrange, and secondly it brings the whole battery closer together by building teamwork, leadership and camaraderie among the Marines.”
While the battery strengthens itself as a whole, many Marines seized the chance to better themselves, according to Lance Cpl. Justin L. Santiago, a field artillery cannoneer with the battery.
“In past training exercises, I have just been in charge of running the charges from the truck to the cannon,” said Santiago from Honolulu, Hawaii. “During this exercise I was able to experience the other parts of the gun crew, which makes me a better cannoneer.”
As ARTP 14-2 comes to a close, the Marines with the battery feel confident in their skills as they prepare to return to Okinawa, according to Sgt. Derek M. Wolford, a field artillery cannoneer, and section chief with the battery.
“The experience from training in Yausubetsu was good, but ultimately the area or environment will not deter us from what we do best: shoot, move and communicate,” said Wolford, from Fort Ashby, West Virginia. “All training is good training as we are constantly learning and building upon ourselves and our skills.”
The ARTP is regularly scheduled routine training conducted in accordance with prior agreements between the governments of Japan and the U.S., taking place since 1997.