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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.
Marines train in Hachigamine Park’s obstacle course

By Lance Cpl. Cindy G. Alejandrez | | September 6, 2007


 More than 35 Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 Marines ran through an obstacle course at Hachigamine Park in Otake City Aug. 30.

The Marines ran up the hill packed with obstacles behind the leadership of Sgt. Maj. James C. Kirkland, MALS-12’s senior enlisted and native of Des Moines, Iowa, who explained the physical training was to challenge the Marines to keep them in a warrior mindset.

“Today I ran through one of the (most fun) obstacle courses I have ever done,” said Cpl. Jack E. Keovongsa, MALS-12 solder technician and native of San Pablo, Calif. “At first, going up was kind of simple but as it progressed the obstacles got kind of crazy.”

In groups of seven, the Marines worked their way through netting, walked across balance beams and climbed and crawled through several wooden obstacles before running up to the next challenge.

The variety of obstacles tested the Marines’ physical abilities and teamwork. Teams had to

figure out how to safely complete each challenge.

“First you have to examine (the obstacles) then figure out how you’re going to get through; you just don’t rush into it,” explained Keovongsa.

Lance Cpl. Donald A. Garcia, MALS-12 tool control program coordinator and native of Miami, said his favorite challenge was running around a wide wooden pit, shaped like a funnel, then running back to the top.

Running up and down the pit was tiring because the Marines had to counter the momentum used when running down to make it back up.

Garcia explained running uphill to complete almost 30 obstacles was a welcomed change in the way they train.

“It was just fun and a lot better than the (obstacle) course on base,” added Garcia.

Once at the end of the course Marines caught their breath and made their way back down to the base of the mountain via a large slide which runs along the course.

Kirkland said the Marines will continue to train in Hachigamine Park as well as look for ways to vary the workouts there.

“They love the challenge,” said Kirkland. “They’ve got a smile from ear to ear when they’re drenched in sweat because that’s why they joined the Marine Corps.”