July 23-26, 2018 -- In northern Okinawa, Japan under humid canopies of dense jungle, the crunch of rocks echoes through the trees from the strides of U.S. Marines on a patrol.
Marines with Tactical Readiness and Training Platoon (TRT), Marine Logistics Group Headquarters, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, practiced infantry squad tactics at Jungle Warfare Training Center, Okinawa, Japan July 23-26, 2018. The training evolution consisted of patrols, squad-sized attacks on known enemy positions and military operations on urban terrain.
Capt. Sean Alexander, the officer in charge of TRT Plt., said the training allowed the Marines to maintain tactical proficiency within combat environments. This enables the platoon to efficiently train other non-infantry units in 3rd MLG.
“The core mission of TRT is to provide combat skills training for 3rd MLG units to ensure their survivability on the battlefield,” said Alexander.
During the training, the Marines and Sailors used special effects small-arms marking system (SESAMS) rounds to effectively simulate real-world fire fights. When shot, the round leaves a brightly-colored residue that can be used to determine the point of impact.
“They provide the most realistic way to identify who got shot and who’s a casualty," said Lance Cpl. Mathew J. Kivler, an assistant patrol leader for TRT Plt.
According to Kivler, the SESAMS rounds were a key component in these field exercises because of their similarity to lethal munitions. The flying rounds forced the Marines to be more attentive of their movement when they maneuvered through the thick jungle terrain.
“I saw nothing but the best out of my Marines,” said Alexander. “The Marines came out hungry and put their fundamentals to practice against a notional enemy. They demonstrated that they had the ability to lead large groups of Marines.”