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COMBAT TOWN, Okinawa — The Marines battled all day to defend the town.

The wounded were evacuated. Enemy combatants were taken prisoner. Assault amphibious vehicles roamed the streets.

The streets of Combat Town were alive with action Tuesday as 160 Marines with E Company, Battalion Landing Team 2/1, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit got a good day’s worth of urban environment training.

The company’s commander, Capt. Kemper Jones, said it is “good for the Marines to be able to come out here and train.”

Urban areas are high-threat zones, “so we practice to build up these skills sets,” he said.

He stressed that urban environment training is important, especially since 9/11, but that it’s not the only training Marines conduct.

At the conclusion of Tuesday’s training, the AAVs headed to Kushi Crossing in Ginoza to travel back to the USS Tortuga. Per a military agreement with Japan, this is the only area where the AAVs can enter the ocean.

Beginning last week, Marines with the 31st MEU have been conducting numerous training evolutions as part of an Amphibious Readiness Group exercise, MEU spokesman Staff Sgt. Marc Ayalin said.

The training has included helicopter raids, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief scenarios and noncombatant evacuation operations.

The training evolutions have run the gamut of the skill set that could be expected of the MEU, Ayalin said.


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