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From Connecticut to Okinawa: Marine reservists train with III Marine Expeditionary Force in Japan

By Lance Cpl. Jonah Baase | III Marine Expeditionary Force | January 31, 2017


Okinawa, Japan -- Reservists rarely get the chance to train overseas, but Marines from New Haven Armed Forces Reserve Center recently received that opportunity with III Marine Expeditionary Force here.

The reservists traveled here from New Haven, Connecticut, to augment 3rd Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, which supports III MEF in the Asia-Pacific region. The reservists, serving with CLB-25, CLR-45, 4th MLG, helped 3rd Maintenance Battalion manage their vehicle fleet during their 30-day deployment here.

“It’s amazing out here,” said Lance Cpl. Cameron Stanley, an organizational automotive mechanic with Transportation Services Company, CLB-25. “They do so much work with less man power.”

Stanley, a native of New Bedford, Massachusetts, explained some of the differences between working at his reserve station and here. The Marines here perform a full range of automotive service, as opposed to the parts exchange function that CLB-25 performs at the reserve center. Also, unlike the reservists, who have civilian jobs, attend college and practice their Marine Corps trade during drill weekends and two-week periods over the summer, the Marines of 3rd Maintenance Battalion manage their vehicle fleet full time, he said.

However, Gunnery Sgt. William Pieczarka, an active duty Marine serving on the inspector instructor staff with CLB – 25, said it’s difficult to tell the active duty personnel apart from the reservists.

“You can’t really tell the difference because a lot of (the reservists) want to be here and want to do the work,” said Pieczarka, a Springfield, Massachusetts, native.

Aside from work, Marines with CLB – 25 also got the chance to take in the culture and experience of life in Okinawa.

“I love it out here,” said Sgt. Jordan Galletta, a native of Newark, New Jersey, and an automotive mechanic with Headquarters and Service Company, CLB – 25.  “The culture, people and foods are second to none. If the opportunity came up, I would definitely jump on it again.”

For many Marines, a primary reason for joining the Corps is the opportunity to visit exotic locations like Okinawa.

“All I would say to my Marines is to get up, get out and explore,” said Pieczarka. “My time on Okinawa is one I will never forget.”

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