Okinawa-based troops endure convoy training at frigid Fuji
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — More than 150 members of the 3rd Marine Logistics Group stationed on semitropical Okinawa donned their cold-weather gear recently for some intense convoy training on wintery hills below Mount Fuji.
Throughout the three-week “Exercise Materiel Warrior” at Camp Fuji, the Marines and sailors honed their skills to increase their combat readiness to prepare for deployment to Iraq, according to a Marine news release. Marine Corps policy calls for not releasing deployment dates for troops prior to deployment.
Participating in the training, which ended Sunday, were detachments from the 3rd Materiel Readiness Battalion, Headquarters and Service Battalion, the 3rd Transportation Support Battalion and the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, according to Col. R.R. Ruark, the 3rd MRB’s commanding officer.
They traded mild Okinawa weather for snow and temperatures that dropped to the teens at night and barely hit the mid-40s at midday.
The tight training schedule, cold weather and being away from Okinawa increased the difficulty and stress level of the training, according to a Marine news release.
“Being here at Camp Fuji is the opposite of being in Okinawa,” said Lance Cpl. Omari Livingston, an auto mechanic with the 3rd MRB. “Things are harder to do in the snow, but motivation remains high because everyone is out here to train so we all can come back (from Iraq) alive.”
Along with convoy operations through Camp Fuji’s ranges, participants trained in advanced marksmanship, first aid and identifying and reacting to improvised explosive devices — perhaps the greatest danger to troops serving in Iraq.
They also took part in training on handling enemy prisoners of war, maneuvering while firing and convoy structure and function, according to the news release.
On the training’s final day, the sailors and Marines were confronted with a variety of “real-world” tactical convoy scenarios, according to the news release.