Welcome to the Jungle Warfare Training Center in Camp Gonsalves, Okinawa

Welcome to the Jungle Warfare Training Center in Camp Gonsalves, Okinawa

by Lance Cpl. Cameron Parks
3rd Marine Division

Marines are known for always being ready for any obstacle that may come their way. Historically, Marines have fought up mountains, through jungles, and across deserts. Nowadays combat is few and far between; however, Marines continue to train in austere terrain to keep their skills sharp and to continue bettering their techniques.

One of the locations that Marines train is Jungle Warfare Training Center Camp Gonsalves on Okinawa, Japan. Marines learn how to navigate through the dense marsh, repel down steep cliffs, and better their knowledge of patrolling through the area and its terrain.

“You get to see how the units actually work in the jungle,” said Sgt. Nathaniel Strahle, the chief instructor at JWTC. “The jungle itself provides a very dynamic environment in which not a lot of people are accustomed.”

Marines are taught jungle survival skills from the instructors at JWTC putting them in the combat mindset, Every Marine is a Riflemen.

“This course gives Marines the opportunity to teach other Marines in areas that I’m proficient in,” said Cpl. Caleb Buck a rappelling instructor at JWTC. “I get to train them in rappelling and other infantry related knowledge that is useful in the jungle.”

All units get a chance to experience fighting in the jungle at JWTC. Through the mental to physical exhaustion, they create a deeper sense of comradery that one wouldn’t particularly find working in an office.

“The Jungle Warfare Training Center is great for any unit to attend. It’s uncomfortable at times and embracing uncommon situations is never easy. Yet, when you’re around a good group of people it doesn’t seem as bad.” said Sgt. James West a squad leader with Bravo Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, forward deployed to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division.

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