Marines share tactics and techniques with Japan officer candidates

Marines share tactics and techniques with Japan officer candidates

by Lance Cpl. David N. Hersey, III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office
U.S. Marine Corps

CAMP SCHWAB, OKINAWA, Japan -- Interoperability is vital in ensuring two allied forces to work together seamlessly. This is often built and further strengthened by sharing knowledge of each other’s tactics, techniques and procedures while training side by side.

Marines with 4th Marine Regiment hosted more than 320 officer candidates with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Feb. 27 at the Camp Schwab Theater as part of the Japan Observer Exchange Program.

The visit demonstrated some of the capabilities possessed by the U.S. Marine Corps, according to U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Mark R. Liston, the operations officer for 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

“By exposing them to the unique capabilities and missions of the Marine Corps, III MEF in particular, we’re fostering a better relationship with the (Japanese service members) that will serve alongside our own,” said Liston.

The visit began with a briefing in the theater explaining the mission of III MEF and the strategic importance of its location on Okinawa, as well as functions performed by various subordinate units that make up III MEF, to include the 4th Marine Regiment.

After the briefing, the Japanese officer candidates were organized into four groups to tour displays and demonstrations of the regiment’s daily functions, equipment and training. The displays included a mock combat operations center, indoor simulated marksmanship trainer, several weapons systems and a Humvee. This was followed by a demonstration of techniques from each of the belt levels of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.

The visiting members of the JGSDF were grateful for the opportunity to learn about their American counterparts, according to JGSDF Sgt. Maj. Daisuke Takeuchi, an officer candidate and training sergeant major with the Central Army, JGSDF.

“We are happy to learn from those who are experienced in battle,” said Takeuchi. “The Marines have seen and learned from battle and are sharing this experience with us. We are grateful for this.”

The Japan Observer Exchange Program builds and maintains relationships between the two forces, according to U.S. Marine Cpl. George A. Caraballo, a field radio operator with the regiment.

“It’s important that we establish a bond between both our militaries,” said Caraballo. “Doing this kind of thing ensures that we can come together as allies and accomplish our mission jointly.”

The two groups parted after the tour was finished, assured of their continued friendship, according to Liston.

“This program only serves to further secure our already strong alliance,” said Liston. “We’ve done several of these, and (it helps) our own training. I look forward to the next opportunity we have to share with them.”

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