News: MWSS-171 stays vigilant
Story by Lance Cpl. Brian Stevens
IWAKUNI, Japan - Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 continues to train all over the globe.
In the past few months, the unit contributed Marines to five different exercises across the globe.
MWSS-171 deployments send their Marines all over the world to include Korea, Australia, Bangladesh, Guam, Thailand and even back to the U.S.
“Recently, we had Marines in Twentynine Palms and Bangladesh,” said Sgt. Maj. Albert Diaz, MWSS-171 sergeant major.
The goal of the Bangladesh operation was to build a second floor on a schoolhouse while working side-by-side with Seabees and the local army. Other deployments, such as to Twentynine Palms allow MWSS-171 Marines to train on equipment they cannot use aboard station due to lack of training area or ranges.
“The main mission of the exercise was to get our Marines used to using their crew served weapons and familiarize them with convoy operations,” said Diaz.
Many Marines in the unit return from an exercise only a few weeks before they deploy to another location.
“The benefit we get from staying as busy as we do is that the Marines hone their skills and gain the confidence that is required for them to operate the equipment,” said Lt. Col. Howard Eyth, MWSS-171 commanding officer.
Marines who arrive to MWSS- 171 straight from their school normally hit the ground running.
“Any Marine that changes stations from here is going to be an asset because this is the busiest unit that I've ever been a part of,” said Gunnery Sgt. Timothy Thompson, MWSS-171 training chief. “If I was to receive a Marine from this unit, I know he would be proficient in his job regardless of what rank he is.”
Marines are capable of packing up and moving on a moment’s notice and can be gone for months.
“For me personally, I think it’s a great experience, it gets kind of tiring moving from one place to another so often, but at the same time, it makes time spent in Japan go by a lot faster,” said Cpl. Jesse Hayden, MWSS-171 motor transportation operator. “This is my fist duty station and I didn't really know what to expect coming out of the schoolhouse, but I think moving around so much now will make being somewhere else that much easier,”
MWSS-171 exemplifies the Marine Corps motto: adapt and overcome. With Marines deployed in exercises throughout the world, MWSS-171 proves its alacrity by upholding its symbolic phrase, “In Omnia Paratus,” ready for all things.