OKINAWA, Japan - As an MV-22B Osprey hovers overhead, Marines ready themselves while their team leader glances over the perimeter one last time. As the Osprey gently touches down, the Marines snap into action, shouting commands and sprinting around the perimeter of the landing zone for quick extraction.
High-intensity training was the standard as Marines with 3rd Supply Battalion conducted a supply management unit exercise Jan. 7-27 at Kin Blue Training Area near Camp Hansen.
The exercise was a large endeavor for the battalion, according to 1st Lt. Stephen Graves, the officer in charge of the exercise with 3rd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. Everything and everyone had to work cohesively in order to successfully complete the mission. The goal of the exercise was simple — to operate as a supply management unit in a deployed environment.
“For the exercise, we received supply requests from units operating in the area and pushed gear out to those units,” said Graves. “We also had a field training exercise integrated, where we did everything from combat lifesaving to convoy operations.”
The field training refreshed the Marines on skills such as basic patrolling, convoy operations, live-fire of small-arms and combat lifesaving.
“In a deployed environment, there is always a chance we could be attacked, and the Marines would have to react to the situation,” said Maj. Brogan C. Issitt, a supply officer with the battalion. “Therefore, we tailored the field portion of the exercise to focus on infantry tactics, convoy operations and combat lifesaving skills.”
The exercise was beneficial and a good learning experience for the battalion’s Marines, as it allowed them to work as a team in a simulated deployed environment while refreshing common skills required of all Marines, according to Cpl. Matthew L. Neimeyer, a warehouse clerk with the battalion. The Marines were able to see the planning, execution and retrograde that goes into a training exercise.
“I learned quite a bit about other supply jobs and got to refresh on my own,” said Neimeyer. “It was good to see my Marines get involved and learn as much as they did.”
The Marines established the exercise site for approximately three days, according to Graves, setting up everything from a command operations center to field showers, so all life support needed was in place for the duration of the exercise.
“This exercise was very important for the Marines who are used to doing their jobs in a garrison environment,” said Graves. “It took them out of that environment and showed them that, even though we are in a supply battalion, we could still be called on at any time in a deployed environment to step outside the wire to do our job.”