News: Marines conduct artillery training at Ojojihara Maneuver Area
Story by 2nd Lt. Noah Rappahahn
CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan - Marines and sailors with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force participating in Artillery Relocation Training Program 12-4 will begin routine, regularly scheduled artillery training Feb. 15 at the Ojojihara Maneuver Area.
Artillery live-fire, small arms and crew-served weapons training, in addition to various other sustainment training is expected to take place from Feb. 15-23 at the maneuver area.
The ARTP is based upon agreements between the United States Government (USG) and Government of Japan (GOJ) in accordance with the Special Action Committee on Okinawa's (SACO) final report.
"The Marines who will be participating in ARTP 12-4 are well trained professionals, who have all attended professional military schools," said Lt. Col. Jason Brown, commanding officer of 3rd Bn., 12th Marines. "Just as the Marines are technically proficient in their area of expertise, I can assure you they are just as focused on ensuring that safety is a high priority in all they do."
Approximately 200 Marines and sailors have arrived from Okinawa to conduct the training. The current firing battery is Alpha Battery, who is assigned to 3rd Bn., 12th Marines as a part of the Unit Deployment Program.
"While the primary mission of the training is to increase proficiency and improve artillery capabilities in support of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, during the exercise, a community relations event and cultural exchange program is scheduled to take place," said Brown.
Brown and other key leaders from the Marine Corps participating in the training are scheduled to meet with local officials and community leaders near the training area prior to conducting live fire training.
"The most valuable relationships we have as service members are with neighbors of the bases overseas," said Brown. "It is important to inform the community about the training we are conducting."