Soldiers visit Marine base, toss some live grenades
Stars and Stripes June 30, 2007
CAMP FUJI, Japan — Because they never know what might come their way, soldiers at Camp Fuji practiced throwing something back — live grenades.
Members of the 35th Combat Support Sustainment Support Battalion took a break from their daily routine at Sagami Depot near Tokyo to sharpen their grenade-tossing skills Thursday at Camp Fuji, a Marine-run training area in the foothills west of the city.
The team’s 25 members primarily are logistics soldiers with more hours logged behind a desk than on the range.
The exercise is intended to prepare for wartime scenarios. For most of the 35th’s soldiers, the training was a long time coming.
“This training is more in depth and they give you a little more time” said Pfc. Robert Caskey. “It’s my first time since basic training with a live grenade. It’s a rare opportunity.”
Also tossing grenades into a ditch were a few soldiers with Camp Zama’s Medical Activities Command.
“Training like this is always a good thing,” said Staff Sgt. Francesca Ross, a veterinarian with the command. “You never know what will come your way. It’s best to fine tune skills with the bunker and make all the mistakes here.”
Ross figured she’d have to go through the stations “a couple of times to get an expert (rating).”
Members were instructed to throw dummy grenades at targets in lanes from different positions and covers. After the practice, each soldier took turns tossing two grenades in a live-fire range.
The 35th’s Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher J. Nunez said his soldiers probably will head to Iraq one day and deploy in small teams, most likely to handle transportation of goods. And they may be placed in situations where they’ll have to defend themselves, he said.