JGSDF, US Marines train for emergency
YAUSUBETSU MANEUVER AREA, HOKKAIDO, Japan -- Japan Ground Self-Defense Force service members and U.S. Marines executed bilateral, fire response and casualty evacuation training Aug. 21 as part of Artillery Relocation Training Program 14-2 at the Yausubetsu Maneuver Area in Hokkaido, Japan.
The training prepared the Marines and sailors of 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, to respond to an emergency using JGSDF firefighting equipment. The training also familiarized both sides with local casualty evacuation procedures.
“Before starting the live-fire exercise, we have to make sure we perform this safety training,” said JGSDF 1st Lt. Hirokazu Tanaka, a forward observer with 5th Artillery Battalion, 5th Brigade, Northern Army. “By doing this training first, we are making sure that if a fire or injury happens, the Marines know how to respond to the emergency.”
Along with familiarizing the battalion with local safety procedures, the training enabled Marines and sailors to reinforce past training on a whole new level, according to U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew M. Turner, a hospital corpsman with the 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“This is something we do not get the chance to fully practice when we are in garrison,” said Turner, a Milpitas, California, native. “The casualty evacuation training in particular, enabled the corpsmen and some of the combat life saver certified Marines the ability to get the hands-on experience of transporting a casualty from an ambulance into a helicopter, securing the casualty in the helicopter, and then transporting the patient to a local hospital.”
For some of the Marines, the training revisited skills used in past exercises.
“Last time I was here, there was a fire we had to put out,” said U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Harrison T. Briseno, a motor transport operator with 1st Battalion, 12th Marines, currently assigned to 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines. “We had Marines on the ground using the same system we were trained on today to contain the fire while the JGSDF brought in helicopters to drop water and extinguish the flame.
“It was impressive to see how quickly we were able to coordinate our efforts with the JGSDF to respond to the fire in the past,” added Briseno a native of Chicago, Illinois. “I am confident that if that situation should arise again, we will once again be able to have an immediate response from both sides.”
Safety is a priority for all Marine Corps training, especially when it involves live-fire events, and the Marines and sailors of the battalion are ready to safely perform the next portion of the training, according to Turner.
“We were able to integrate with the JGSDF very well,” said Turner. “I have no doubt that if we have to put into use what we practiced today, we will effectively be able to work with each other in the case of an emergency.”