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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.
MWSS-171 conducts patrols during Eagle Wrath 2017 to train for deployments

By Lance Cpl. Stephen Campbell | Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan | June 27, 2017

U.S. Marines assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, based out of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, conducted patrols during exercise Eagle Wrath 2017 at Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, Japan, June 15- 28, 2017.

During the two-week training evolution, patrols played a part in the exercise’s emphasis on air base ground defense by training Marines to secure an area, protect incoming and outgoing assets in the area of operations and to show their presence in a deployed environment.

“Even though every (military occupational specialty) supports the infantry, the rear units need protection as well, and that is why this exercise is putting so much effort in training the squadron in air base ground defense,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Ian Campbell, a combat engineer with MWSS-171 and air base ground defense squad leader.

While none of the Marines who participated in the exercise were infantry, their participation in the patrols proved that every Marine is a rifleman.

“We are a pretty unique contingent of MOS’s,” said Campbell. “We’re not just a single MOS, we have different strengths and weaknesses that we combine together. Everyone brings something different to the table, something that someone might oversee, another
might see.”

Campbell said even though there are various types of patrols, air base ground defense focuses primarily on vehicle and foot mobile security patrols.

The patrols mainly consisted of encountering simulated enemies, looking for things on the road that looked out of the ordinary and calling in explosive ordnance disposal technicians for what could be potential improvised explosive devices..

“We listen for rattling in our area and look for movement in the distance or close by,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Andre Young, a telephone systems and personal computer repairer with MWSS-171. “We look for things that look like they shouldn’t be there like a stack of rocks on the road, which could potentially be an IED.”

Young said he can see himself using the training he learned during Eagle Wrath 2017 during a real deployment.

“I think that one of the biggest takeaways from this is even though we are different MOS’s, something can happen at any time, and we need this training just in case something was to happen,” said Young. “Everyone knows that all Marines are riflemen, and when it comes down to it, someone has to do this job when needed. We need this essential training to get that job done.”