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UDP Marines train in JWTC's hazardous jungle

Marine Corps News

Release Date: 3/8/2004

Story by Cpl. Ryan D. Libbert

CAMP GONSALVES, Okinawa, Japan (March 5, 2004) -- Images of exotic plant life, Bengal tigers, savage baboons, and poisonous snakes come to mind, when drawing a mental picture of the world's jungles. But the jungle also contains a beast many are unaware of, a beast capable of serious bodily harm. This beast is known to the world as the U.S. Marine.

Ninety-six Marines and Sailors from Company G, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, currently serving as a UDP battalion with 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, participated in the Jungle Warfare Training Center's jungle warfare course Feb. 4 - 17 at Camp Gonsalves.

The Marines of Company G trained in a wide array of warfare tactics within the double-canopy jungle environment, according to Capt. Brian P. Burgess, commanding officer.

"We came here to enhance our infantry tactics within a jungle environment," Burgess said. "We are focusing on patrolling through rough terrain, land navigation, booby traps, jungle shooting, and rappelling."

The company achieves these learning objectives through the teachings of JWTC instructors, practical application and force-on-force drills using simulated ammunition.

The training package was very demanding for the Marines. To add to the thick vegetation, steep terrain and highly venomous Habu snakes, the Marines also faced cold temperatures and rainy weather, turning the soft Earth into soupy mud.

"I don't think enduring the weather is a big concern to these Marines," Burgess stated. "There is an old saying in this unit which is 'everywhere Golf Company goes, the rain goes with them.'"

Although the conditions may seem unbearable to some, the Marines were not about to let it hinder the training opportunity they have been looking forward to since arriving on Okinawa.

"This environment is different from what we have at Lejeune, the terrain is very demanding," said Pfc. Matt C. Wilson, rifleman. "I think it's great to take on a new challenge like this. Jungle Warfare Training Center is something a lot of grunts talk about after a UDP tour here."

After the instruction is complete and the Marines progress through all missions laid before them, the company will end its "Gonsalves groove" with the DoD-famous, JWTC endurance course, a 3.2-mile trek through the bush, overcoming every obstacle JWTC has to offer.

After witnessing his Marines tackle the tasks put forth, Burgess' satisfaction with his company has become very high.

"This company has shown an outstanding performance out here," Burgess concluded. "They are all excited to be here and their motivation level is still high despite the weather."

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