News: Exercise Iron Fist 2013
Story by Lance Cpl. Demetrius Morgan
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Service rifles, machineguns, mortars, motivated Marines and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force are what you need to jump start Exercise Iron Fist 2013.
During the first week of Exercise Iron Fist 2013, Marines and Sailors with the 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and members of the JGSDF participated in live-fire training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Jan. 23-25. Both groups demonstrated squad tactics, static small-arms live-fire and mortar launching.
During the week, Marines displayed their tactics while 2nd Lt. Duane Blank, a platoon commander with Bravo Co., 1/4 13th MEU, guided members of the JGSDF through the training and explained the different tactics as they were happening.
“The main goal of working with the JGSDF is to be able to work together with another country,” said Blank, a White Castle La., native. “Multi-national exercises like this allow us to adapt better to the language barriers and the different weaponry so that we can adapt better to any situation.”
The exercise serves as preparation for deployment and gives Marines an opportunity to interact with members of JGSDF. One of the main focuses for Iron Fist is for Marines and the JGSDF to train effectively in a joint environment.
U.S. Marine 1st Lt. Jacob Crockett, the company executive officer of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, said he believes this exercise benefits both forces.
“Exercise Iron Fist allows the JGSDF to get out and see how Marines train and we get to see how they train,” said Crockett, a Vincennes, Ind., native. “With the JGSDF, we’re working on the basics of fire and maneuver. Shoot, move and communicate.”
The culmination of these events, along with future training in Exercise Iron Fist 2013, will help demonstrate the unique capabilities of the 13th MEU and its ability to rapidly respond to contingencies in coordination with the JGDSF.
In the coming weeks, the 13th MEU and will continue training with the JGSDF at the Marine Air-Ground Combat Training Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif., and San Clemente Island in support of Exercise Iron Fist 2013.