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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

 

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MCAS Iwakuni is a mission-ready air station, capable of providing continuous base-operating support for tenant organizations and follow-on U.S. and allied forces during training, combat or contingency (HA/DR) operations throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
Sentinels practice restoring runway

By Lance Cpl. Joseph Abrego | Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan | November 20, 2016

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U.S. Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 conducted base recovery after attack response training at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Nov. 15-18, 2016.

The unit level training, known as BRAAT, simulated several scenarios requiring immediate action to better prepare the Marines for situations that could arise while on station or during deployment.

From power losses, deploying emergency lighting on runways and even repairing runways from any damage taken, the Marines pulled together throughout the various exercises to achieve their mission.

“This exercise ensures that we are able to effectively perform the necessary tasks in situations that require things we don’t do on a daily basis,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Paul Flores, foreman and second squad leader of the combat engineer platoon for MWSS-171. “It’s a lot of new experiences for the younger Marines and shows them the expectations beyond a day’s work.”

The training environment opens opportunities for all Marines regardless of rank and billet. Discovering weaknesses and strengths now can lead to future successful endeavors and minimize catastrophe.

Cpl. Tyler A. Cox, acting staff noncommissioned officer in charge of the damage assessment team for MWSS-171, said the training prepared them for any deployments or attacks against the air station. They now know they are capable of not only assisting in operations of a functioning runway, but repairing a damaged runway to make it functional and knowing what they can expect to work around.

“My favorite part of the training was getting to step back and watch someone else take the lead,” said Cox. “I enjoyed seeing what my Marines are capable of and seeing where they can lead me.”

Even when thrown into new roles, the Marines used what they were given and successfully completed assigned tasks.

“I expected my Marines to do their job, and not only did they do their job, but they completed other tasks proficiently where they were needed,” said Flores. “I was pleased with the outcome and look forward to seeing what else my Marines can accomplish.” 


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