CLC-36 Marines grow together during Exercise Dragon Fire 2015
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Marines with Combat Logistics Company 36(CLC-36) arrived at Camp Fuji, Japan, July 10, 2015, to revisit their basic riflemen foundations during Exercise Dragon Fire 2015(DF15).
Dragon Fire is an annual exercise CLC-36 participates in to refresh their Marine riflemen skills and maintain a combat mindset, which is being prepared for the mental and physical stress of being in a combat zone.
“We’re working on the basic infantry skill set that the Marines learn out of (Marine Combat Training),” said Capt. Roderick J. Singleton, commanding officer of CLC-36. “We do this so they have confidence in themselves and their weapon systems when and if they are in a combat environment.”
Marines are riflemen first and the first to fight, meaning they have to be combat ready at all times.
The training conducted in Exercise DF15 is limited compared to what the infantry does, however, this training builds that combat sustainment and mental readiness for Marines no matter their Military Occupational Specialty(MOS).
“This training builds confidence in these Marines, whether they work behind a desk or are just turning wrenches,” said Singleton. ”Being good at our job is great, however we don’t work at Microsoft or Jiffy Lube. I don’t need Marines just to be able to change oil, I need them to be well-rounded Marines with confidence in their abilities and weapons that they use.”
This annual exercise strengthens camaraderie while also building their riflemen skills. It brings the Marines together as a family by driving them to work hand-in-hand on a daily basis.
“Inherently, Marines love coming to the field but sometimes they get stuck in adverse conditions that make them uncomfortable,” said Ssgt. Anthony M. Phaire, the operations chief for CLC-36. “So they learn how to work with each other in close proximity. They learn things about each other that they didn’t know. At the beginning of every field operation, Marines act hesitant toward each other but by the end of the training they know their strengths and weaknesses as individuals and as a team.”
Phaire said he participated in three exercises with the same Marines who are still currently in CLC-36 and he has seen great improvement in the Marines with everything that they do.
The exercise hits two birds with one stone, it keeps Marines combat ready while also building trust and relations with one another making them stronger as a whole.
Every year Exercise Dragon Fire gets better and more proficient in every aspect according to Singleton, but he believes they always have room to improve.
The Marines have a lot to look forward to throughout the exercise including patrolling, land navigation, participating in more live gun ranges and throwing grenades. Their last training day for DF15 is July 29 but the day after they will climb Mt. Fuji as a unit, which is an opportunity many people may never experience.