News: CLC-36 practices land navigation skills at Camp Fuji during Exercise Dragon Fire 2014
Story by Cpl. Antonio Rubio
GOTEMBA, Japan - Combat Logistics Company 36 Marines and augments honed their land navigation skills Lewis and Clark Expedition style as they attempted to maneuver from an unknown location to a final checkpoint by using a map, grid points and compass during Exercise Dragon Fire 2014 at Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, Japan, July 13.
Dragon Fire is CLC-36’s annual Battle Skills Training exercise that focuses on improving the individual and collective combat skills of CLC-36 service members with an emphasis on weapons familiarization training.
“AAVs dropped off our team and from there, we had to figure out our starting point and navigate to the various check markers, which eventually lead to the rally point at the end,” said Staff Sgt. Jimmie Purvis, supply administration chief with CLC-36.
Purvis said practical application teaches Marines how to distinguish various terrain features, proficiently read maps, utilize a compass and other skills.
Lance Cpl. Richard Relihan, a generator mechanic with CLC-36, said he learned to have a contingency plan in case he lost his azimuth or encountered obstacles such as deep rivers, broken bridges, etc.
“Land nav helps you create a path and a destination so you can figure out your best course of action,” said Relihan. “For practical purpose, let’s say you’re on a mission and you need to get to a destination without any GPS system; you can use your map and compass to look for land marks around you to find your destination.”
Purvis said this training is critical to Marines because at any moment, they might have to apply what they have learned. While Purvis was deployed, he said he never knew where he would be dropped off next or where the landing zone was going to be.
“In the Marine Corps, you never know where you could end up. Being supply admin, I never thought I would be on patrols doing land nav, but it happened,” said Purvis.
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