CAMP GONSLAVES, Okinawa --
Marines with 3rd Radio Battalion conducted patrolling exercises as part of the jungle skills course on Camp Gonsalves May 22.
Marines with 3rd Radio Bn., 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, III Marine Expeditionary Force, took advantage of the training opportunity to familiarize themselves with a field environment similar to areas in the Asia Pacific they will see during deployment.
“This training is good for the Marines because it helps prepare us for future exercises or operations we might have in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Sgt. Antonio J. Chapa Sr., a special communications signals collection operator with the battalion.
During the course, Marines learned basic infantry operations in jungle terrain including land navigation, ambushing, rappelling, patrolling and moving tactically through a jungle environment, according to Chapa.
“It is important for every Marine to take part in this training because we are expected to fight in any clime and place,” said Lance Cpl. Stephen M. Henderson, a special communications signals collection operator with the battalion. “Jungle or desert it doesn’t matter, we will go wherever we are needed.”
Marines with Combat Logistics Regiments 35 also took part in the training as part of their annual training plan.
“The biggest challenge of this training is the jungle itself,” said 1st Lt. William C. Morrison, a judge advocate with CLR-37, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III MEF. “Other training environments in the Marine Corps do not have the terrain and the humidity we are training in right now,” he said. “You will be exhausted after hiking all day.”
In addition to the harsh environment of the Jungle Warfare Training Center, Marines faced other variables that provided new challenges.
“The weather has made the hikes more difficult,” said Henderson. “It will be raining one minute and sunny the next."
"All the rain has made the jungle floor incredibly muddy and slick, which makes it challenging to keep from falling,” he added.
Despite the harsh environment and conditions faced during training, the course offers valuable training for Marines, according to Morrison.
“I would recommend this training for all Marines, especially for those who are not in ground combat units,” said Morrison. “This course offers the chance to get back to the basics, do some ground pounding, and become more well-rounded in our war fighting capabilities.”