MCAS IWAKUNI, Iwakuni, Japan -- Marines from MALS-12 Support Equipment section cleared a beach June 30 without a single casualty. The enemy they faced was not an enemy of flesh and blood - it was trash. Eighteen Marines traveled 45 miles by bus to an island near the town of Kaminoseki.They chose to take the beach for themselves and for the community. What they received in return was a day away from the station, time together as a shop and a clean beach to themselves."It wasn't one of those things where you ask what the perks are," said Lance Cpl. Josh Santiago, MALS-12 Support Equipment electrician. The beach cleanup was done for many reasons, said Staff Sgt. Robert Hadden, MALS-12 Support Equipment Work Center supervisor. It's a nice sandy beach that's not all rocks and shells, and it gives younger Marines without cars a chance to get away from the usual sites around the station that everyone has visited. When people see the amount of garbage on beaches in Japan compared to the United States they are shocked, he said.By cleaning the beach, "it shows the Japanese people that we're not drunken idiots, and we're good guests in their country," said Cpl. Clinton Smith, MALS-12 ground support electrician. When they arrived, the colors of random garbage could easily be seen at the tide line all the way down the beach. After making their way to the waters edge, the Marines spread out and moved forward in a line separating combustibles and non-combustibles as they went. Marines spent more than an hour clearing the beach, battling a burned-out car seat, old fishing nets, hundreds of bottles, cans and other small pieces of junk. In the end there was little sign of anything man-made except for footprints and a pile of trash bags on the curb.The cleanup of the beach soon became a day at the beach when a barbecue was set up, footballs were thrown and competition erupted in horseshoe pits."A lot of people might look at this as a working party," Santiago said. "But it's not really when you see the whole job finished."