Two MC-130J aircraft set wheels on MCAS Iwakuni
U.S. Marines with 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, U.S. Airmen with the 353rd Special Operations Group stationed at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and MV-22B Ospreys with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, landed aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni July 19, 2016.
Two U.S. Air Force MC-130J Commando II aircraft transported Marines and airmen from U.S. Marine Corps Installation Camp Mujuk, South Korea, and landed at MCAS Iwakuni where they staged before heading to Iejima, an island in the Okinawa Prefecture, to conduct a long-range airfield seizure exercise.
Upon landing here, the service members rehearsed unloading and staging gear in preparation for their arrival at Iejima.
The exercise focuses on training the service members for a variety of possible situations that could occur in combat such as infiltrations, extractions, air to air refueling and efficiently working with joint service members.
“This exercise is particularly useful because it encompasses a lot of the scenarios we could use in combat,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Korey King, a load master with the 17th Special Operations Squadron from Kadena Air Base. “Working with joint partners covers a lot of the situations that we could and have been called on for.”
Along with preparing for unforeseen events, the 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines are using the exercise to prepare for an upcoming deployment.
“It’s important to have these exercises to maintain our lethality,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Brian Grygo, air officer for 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines. “It increases our air assault proficiency and will prepare the battalion for its follow-on deployment to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force next year.”
The joint training is effective in many ways and allows service members to familiarize themselves with different aspects of how others operate.
“It’s a good training experience,” said King. “It builds proficiency for everyone involved. Traveling with other members of the U.S. military allows us to see a little bit about what they do, get a taste of their job and work together as a team.”