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Iwakuni Marines travel to Fuji for Eagle Wrath 2016

Lance Cpl. Jordan Ulep, left, a heavy equipment operator with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, throws an M69 practice grenade during Eagle Wrath 2016 at Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, Monday, July 11, 2016.

AARON HENSON/U.S. MARINE CORPS

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 12, 2016

A group of Iwakuni Marines will get the chance to climb Mount Fuji during an exercise aimed at honing a variety of combat skills this week.

The Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, also known as “America’s squadron,” arrived at Camp Fuji on July 8 for Eagle Wrath 2016.

During the annual exercise, which focuses on aviation-ground support, the Marines will practice defending a mock air base, using machine guns and throwing grenades.

“This is one of the only areas we have to go out as a squadron and practice shooting machine guns, AT-4’s, rifles, and digging into the defense,” said Marine Corps 1st Lt. Alexandra Buckley, communications officer with MWSS-171. “We all trained in this during Marine Combat Training, but it might be years before a Marine is asked to pick up a rifle and defend an air base.”

Also joining the exercise is a helicopter squadron from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and another from Atsugi Naval Base, Japan.

To wrap up Eagle Wrath 2016, the Marines will conquer Mount Fuji.

MWSS-171 conducts this exercise once a year to train all the Marines within the squadron while enhancing their technical skills, field experience and military occupational specialty capability.

“By the end of this exercise, I want my Marines to be able to go into theater, know what they’re doing, accomplish their mission and win the fight,” said Capt. Eric Morishige, air field operations company commander with MWSS-171. “This exercise will let us know where we are as a squadron and what we will need to improve on during future exercises.”

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Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 prepare to lift a simulated victim to safety during Eagle Wrath 2016 at Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, Japan, Friday, July 8, 2016. The squadron plans to complete its unit annual training requirements throughout three stages that focus on air base ground defense and common skills that Marines are unable to train for locally.
AARON HENSON/U.S. MARINE CORPS

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