As the ocean swells rise over two feet, Marines began to smear camouflage paint on their faces while aboard the USS Green Bay (LPD 20) off the coast of Okinawa, Japan during exercise Blue Chromite 2017. Although past midnight and visibility is diminished, the Marines of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment which is forward deployed from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, to 3rd Marine Division are wide awake because they have mission rehearsal to complete.
For the majority of participating Marines, the night of Nov. 1, 2016, was the first time they offloaded combat rubber reconnaissance crafts (CRRC) from a ship. Following that, the Marines’ objective is to further familiarize themselves with performing a boat raid at night and executing proper formations.
“The waves were really choppy, and if we went anything above ten knots everyone is getting splashed in the face,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua Coughing, a coxswain with 3/3. “Also factoring in the wind chill when we would stop, it would get bone chilling.”
Before the exercise, the Marines had to go through a course to become coxswains, which is the driver of the CRRC. During the course everything they exercised involved operating from land to sea. Working with the Navy gave Marines the opportunity to integrate and experience operating from the sea.
This along with the other Blue Chromite training events amplified the operational readiness of both Marines and Sailors. Blue Chromite is a U.S. –only exercise which strengthens the Navy-Marine Corps expeditionary amphibious rapid-response capabilities based in Okinawa and the greater Indo-Asia-Pacific region.