View Full Version : Marines use teamwork to hurdle obstacles

02-15-04, 08:11 AM
Marines use teamwork to hurdle obstacles
Submitted by: MCB Camp Butler
Story Identification Number: 20042304457
Story by Cpl. Benjamin M. George

HIJUDAI MANEUVER AREA, Japan (Feb. 2, 2004) -- "Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work," said legendary football coach Vince Lombardi.

Lombardi knew it took individuals giving their best efforts for the greater good of a team to reach its goals.

When faced with unfamiliar surroundings, Marines from Battery B, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment soon found the same to be true. It would take the best from every individual in the unit for success to be reached as a team during their artillery relocation exercise in Hijudai.

Battery B, stationed in Hawaii, and currently attached to 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa as part of the Unit Deployment Program, has been in the Hijudai Maneuver Area for the past two weeks to test their artillery skills and proficiency under relatively harsh conditions.

“The weather and terrain in this region has definitely created a shared hardship amongst all the Marines,” said Capt. David Everly, commanding officer, Battery B, and Inglewood, Calif., native. “We are learning new things about our capabilities (under harsh conditions) every day. The Marines have exceeded all of our expectations and they have continued to step up their level of performance throughout this exercise.”

As most operations within the Marine Corps rely on teamwork to be successful, artillery is no exception. From the forward observers who determine the target locations, to the canoneers on the gun-line who send the rounds down range, communication is crucial to timely and proficient execution.

“This is the biggest team I have ever seen,” said Lance Cpl. Arin S. Preston, fire direction controlman, Battery B, and Northport, Wash., native. “It’s not just the artillery Marines though. It’s everyone out here doing their job, right down to the motor transport and ‘comm’ (communication) Marines.”

At the outset of the live-fire training, the unit was evaluated with an operational readiness exercise.

Every aspect of the unit received a positive evaluation, however, the support sections not only performed well during the evaluation, but several sections, including the motor transport and ammunition sections, stood out as exceptional, according to Everly.

“Everyone has a part in the success of the unit,” said Cpl. Michael T. Kintner, ammunition technician, Battery B, and Baldwin, Ga., native. “From the ‘ammo techs’ to the gun-line, top-to-bottom, everyone does their part to get the job done.”

Every Marine in the unit knows the importance of teamwork, yet, because the battery is stationed in Hawaii, coupled with the harsh temperatures, rough terrain, and at times, driving snow, working together became paramount.

“It was extremely challenging to come out here the first couple of days,” said Lance Cpl. Benjamin H. Forsyth, gunner, Battery B, and Hedgesville, W.V., native. “It was a shock at first, but after a short adjustment period, we were able to get on track.”

As the live-fire portion of the exercise comes to a close, the Marines will leave Hijudai knowing the capabilities of the Marines around them, and that they can overcome the harshest of conditions…as a team.


Hijudai Maneuver Area, Japan - Sergeant Alan Rice (left) and Cpl. Cary Cole, both gunners, Battery B, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, stationed in Hawaii, currently attached to 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division as part of the Unit Deployment Program, brace themselves for the roar of an M198 Howitzer during live-fire training in the Hijudai Maneuver Area in Japan. The Marines are conducting annually scheduled artillery sustainment training to maintain their day and night live-fire skills. Photo by: Lance Cpl Adaecus Brooks