TERNATE, Philippines(Mar 7 2003) -- Mission accomplishment is imperative to Marines throughout the Corps, and is most obvious in training exercises where teamwork is essential.

Teamwork played a vital role in the overall success of the training mission conducted by the Marines and Sailors of 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, who recently deployed here in support of the Philippine Interoperability Exchange Exercise.

Although PIX was supported by numerous sections, the first step in planning for the exercise was to ensure a Navy corpsman was on site in case of any medical emergencies.

"We (corpsmen) make sure there is medical readiness during the mission to keep the troops going, and during war times, we keep as many healthy bodies on the line as possible," said Navy Seaman Vincent F. Scalabrino, field medical service technician, Battalion Aid Station, Headquarters and Service Battalion.

"Marines don't go to war without corpsmen, and they don't go on exercises without a (Battalion Aid Station). Navy medicine would not allow it, so ultimately there would be no mission," Scalabrino said.

While the corpsmen ensured the Marines received sufficient medical care, the Marines in the armory were responsible for supplying weapons and maintaining them in good condition.

"We maintain the operability of weapons in the exercises, which is good because we've had a lot of weapons get damaged since we've been here. Yet, we've repaired and kept more than 98 percent of them working," said Cpl. Jeremy E. Hatcher, optics technician, armory, Headquarters and Service Battalion.

In addition to repairing U.S. weapons, armory Marines received an opportunity to repair some Philippine mortars, which were used during World War II and Vietnam.

"They were `Jerry-rigged' (being held together with duct tape) until we fixed them with the proper parts, which the Philippine Marines didn't have. We really had a great time working with the Philippine Marines," Hatcher said.

After the warriors received their weapons, they proceeded to the next station - the Ammunition Supply Point.

"When the Marines who are doing the exercise have live rounds in their weapons, it helps them become more proficient in their training," said Sgt. Dave T. Brinkley, ammunition chief, Combat Service Support Group-38.

"If the Marines had no rounds, all the exercises would be modified. There wouldn't be any reality, which the rounds bring to the training," Brinkley said.

In compliance with weapons and rounds, security for the base is a vital part of keeping the safety of Marines. It also allows the Marines to carry on with their duties throughout the exercise without distractions.

From dawn until dusk, "humvees" with M2.50 caliber machineguns attached guard the base in front of alert Marines.

"We show force and provide security for the exercise. We regulate who comes in and who makes it down to the base," said Cpl. Sammy D. Malloy, machine gunner, Weapons Company.

Transportation for Marines throughout the exercise is another important role, and has been deemed a necessity to mission accomplishment here.

"We make sure the maintenance is in good conditions for all the transportation and heavy equipment vehicles, which keeps the exercise running," said Staff Sgt. Raul Rosado, maintenance chief, Motor T section, Combat Service Support Group-38.

In addition to keeping transportation available to the camp, Marines working with heavy equipment vehicles built a road approximately one mile long for easier access to a section of the camp.

"The road we built makes transportation to Recon Beach (the beach where Philippine and U.S. Reconnaissance Marines train) much easier and smoother," Rosado said.

Keeping the morale of the Marines up has also been taken into consideration on several different levels during the PIX exercise.

"We provide two nutritious and well-balanced meals for the troops during the exercise," said Cpl. Justin N. Glydewell, field mess noncommissioned officer in charge, Headquarters and Service Battalion.

"If the Marines had to eat (Meals Ready-to-Eat) every day, they would be pretty unhappy. Luckily, they look forward to having hot chow in the morning and at night," he said.

Along with having hot meals from the field mess section, Marines can also relax at the "Stingray Club" with a hotdog or hamburger throughout the day, while watching a movie.

While raising money for deployment books and providing a place for Marines to relax, the battalion decided to section off a small platform to sell food and drinks and provide entertainment.

"Because there isn't a ton of activities for Marines to do at night, it was a great idea to open the Stingray Club so everyone could come here, relax and get a drink at night," said Staff Sgt. Mark Leitz, career planner, Headquarters and Service Battalion, and manager of the Stingray Club.

"MCCS (Marine Corps Community Services) has provided us with satellite televisions, and WorldCom provided us with cell phones for Marines to call back to the States and Okinawa," Leitz said.

As the mix of hydrogen and oxygen is necessary to make water, missions cannot be successfully accomplished without the aid of support.

Overall, the mission and exercise came together by nonstop acts of teamwork and agility displayed by all of the Marines and Sailors of Marine Air Ground Task Force-38.