MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, traveled to Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Base Kaita in Hiroshima as part of an English seminar, August 8, 2014.
The Marines traveled to the JGSDF base following the JGSDF soldier’s visit to MCAS Iwakuni the previous day, where they received a tour of the air station, as well as classes on Marine Corps history, customs and courtesies.
The purpose of the trip was to add to the soldiers’ cultural exchange experience, while providing Marines the opportunity to receive a first-hand look into the Japanese military lifestyle and training requisites.
During the JGSDF base tour, Marines visited their local Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer.
During the ISMT visit, JGSDF soldiers demonstrated squad fire and maneuvering techniques while utilizing assault rifles, light machineguns and rocket propelled grenades, all in a simulated urban environment.
“This is not something Marines get to do or see on a regular basis,” said Lance Cpl. Thomas Breiter, a patrolman with the Provost Marshal’s Office. “I enjoyed coming to the JGSDF base and seeing all the similarities and differences in the training they conduct.”
Breiter said he was very impressed with the variety of weaponry used by the JGSDF soldiers during the demonstrations.
After the ISMT training, the Marines proceeded to the Mess Hall for lunch with their Japanese hosts where they exchanged courtesies used while dining, such as giving thanks before and after meals.
With the hardy meal behind them, service members continued their tour of the base, seeing the barracks, obstacle course and motor pool, along with other sites.
During the tour, service members received a brief from members of the JGSDF 13th Brigade, 46th Regiment, about their mission and the type of equipment they use during exercises and disaster relief operations.
“The Marines are renowned for being combat ready,” said Master Sgt. Hideyuki Watabe, an infantryman with the JGSDF 13th Brigade, 46th Regiment. “So we brought them out here to visit the base so they can see the capabilities of the JGSDF 13th Brigade and the training we do to reach our level of readiness.”
Watabe said he enjoyed answering the Marines’ questions on the similarities between the two services, as well as their questions on the weapon systems, training and mission of the JGSDF.
“I enjoyed hosting the Marines,” said Watabe. “Each one brings their own experiences and outlooks of the Marine Corps. They definitely help members of the JGSDF understand a little more of the Western culture.”
As the tour concluded, Marines shook hands with JGSDF soldiers, thanking them for their hospitality before preparing to depart back to MCAS Iwakuni with souvenirs and new friendships.