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3rd MLG leaders get back to basics during FTX

3 Jun 2013 | Lance Cpl. Jose Lujano

CAMP HANSEN, Japan - Staff noncommissioned officers and officers with 3rd Marine Logistics Group completed a three-day field training exercise at Camps Hansen and Schwab May 20-22.

The FTX provided a variety of training opportunities for Marines and sailors to focus on the basic skills to be an effective and efficient combat leader.

“It was Brig. Gen. (Niel E.) Nelson’s intent to set a time and space carved out for the principle and general staff to conduct their annual sustainment training,” said Maj. Randall L. Parker, the tactical readiness and training officer in charge of 3rd MLG, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

The training offered the Marines another opportunity to lead from the front by completing their training, maintaining a high level of proficiency in their military art through practical application, and build camaraderie among the staff members, according to Parker. 

During the FTX, the unit conducted nine annual training requirements. Three were range specific, and six were completed in a classroom environment.

The training events are more than just mandatory annual sustainment because it gives staff the opportunity to hone necessary warfighting skills, according to Master Gunnery Sgt. Robert C. Herbert Jr., an operations chief with 3rd MLG.

“One of the training events completed during the FTX is one practiced since recruit training: chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training,” said Herbert. “Enhancing and sustaining a Marine’s skills is an essential part of the individual and unit’s deployment readiness.”

Another valuable training evolution for Marines is to complete the basic swim qualification course, a fundamental skill needed to build self-confidence and aid in an aquatic survival situation.

“By conducting swim qualification, Marines can be comfortable in the water and maintain basic water survival skills,” said Herbert. “We should always trace this back to our amphibious roots and strive to become that elite amphibious warfighter.”

Along with training in water survival techniques, the event also gave the Marines a chance to become more proficient in their marksmanship skills.

“Even though we’re a non-infantry unit, it is vital that all Marines refine the infantry skills and be ready to fight tonight,” said Herbert.

The FTX afforded the Marines a chance to step outside of their normal routine and get back to the basics.

“The good thing about this exercise is that now we, as leaders, are trained and ready,” said Gunnery Sgt. Quiana L. Scott, an administrative chief with 3rd MLG. “So, we can focus on getting our Marines’ training completed, so as a unit we are ready.”

The Marines took time out of the field to cover classroom topics such as operational risk management, heat casualty and injury prevention, suicide prevention training, hazing prevention, sexual assault prevention and response, and an equal opportunity and sexual harassment prevention course.

The aggressive approach to training adopted by 3rd MLG has been the linchpin for its high level of operational readiness, according to Scott.

“This training provided the opportunity to get with our senior leadership, pick their brains, and take what we learn back to our Marines,” said Scott. “Simply through executing the FTX, we boosted camaraderie and can continue working on the same page.”

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