News: Marines arrive at Camp Fuji
Story by Pfc. Brandon Suhr
CAMP FUJI, Japan - Marines and sailors with Mike Battery and a headquarters element with 12th Marine Regiment deployed to Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji Nov. 6 to conduct Artillery Relocation Training Program 12-3.
During ARTP 12-3, Mike Battery, which is currently assigned to 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, will conduct artillery live-fire, small-arms, crew-served weapons, and other types of sustainment training throughout November.
The regularly-scheduled training promotes regional stability and security by allowing units stationed on Okinawa to improve their ability to support III MEF’s role in the defense of Japan under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security.
The battalion is conducting the training to sustain unit proficiency and maintain combat readiness, according to Staff Sgt. Erik R. Myersloredo, an ammunition technician with 3rd Bn., 12th Marines.
Marines with the battalion spent several days preparing equipment for the deployment to the North Fuji Maneuver Area, a training area located near CATC Camp Fuji used by both U.S. and Japan Self-Defense Force personnel.
“The Marines spent countless hours packing and weighing all the gear to prepare for the deployment, as well as ensuring all gear was loaded properly to be shipped from Okinawa to mainland Japan,” said Master Sgt. Thomas D. Veenstra, the battalion’s field artillery chief.
Mike Battery is scheduled to conduct 10 days of live-fire artillery training while at the North Fuji Maneuver Area.
“This training is to help increase accurate and timely reactions for real-life scenarios,” said Staff Sgt. Shawn J. Dudley, the battery gunnery sergeant for Mike Battery.
The North Fuji Maneuver Area is one of five sites where Marine artillery training can be conducted outside of Okinawa and offers a unique training opportunity for artillery units assigned to 3rd Bn., 12th Marines under the unit deployment program.
“Mike Battery is (permanently) stationed in (Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms), Calif.,” said Dudley. “We are out here to increase our efficiency and skills in a different terrain than back in the states.”
Artillery live-fire training has been conducted on mainland Japan since 1997, when the training was relocated from Okinawa in accordance with the Special Action Committee on Okinawa’s final report. All training sites have been approved by the government of Japan.