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'Trinity' Marines participate in Exercise Bougainville

US Marine Corps News

By Cpl. Jesus Sepulveda Torres | June 26, 2017

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII – Marines with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment participated in Exercise Bougainville 1-17.2, a two-week exercise beginning on June 12 and ending on June 23, 2017.

Exercise Bougainville is a pre-deployment training exercise for the battalion to increase its training and readiness as an infantry battalion. During Bougainville, the battalion splits its three companies up across four training areas, each in providing a unique aspect of warfare.

The exercise spanned across multiple training areas to focus on the skills infantrymen need to know, said 1st Sgt. Jerry Moon, the company first sergeant for India Company.

"While the Marines were at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, they set up a defensive training in wooded area," he said. "Transitioning from there, they then moved to Schofield Barracks for a fire team and squad live-fire range. Then we rotated here at Training Area Boondocker for our Military Operation in Urban Terrain exercises. Finally, Marines enter the jungles of the Kahuku Training Area for jungle terrain warfare."

Moon said this training is important because it is where Marines, both junior and senior, can get a refresh their fundamentals and hit all aspects of every type of warfare so that they can be ready for their upcoming deployments.

"We train to be at the most ready when our nation is least ready," he said. "To handle anything, whether it'd be woodlands or urban location, we have to be ready for anything."

According to 1st Lt. Patrick Prada, the platoon commander of 2nd Platoon, Lima Company, there are high expectations for both the junior Marines in the battalion, and the small unit leaders in charge of them during the exercise.

Prada said Exercise Bougainville is a precursor for a larger exercise that will incorporate the entire battalion. It will take place at the Pohakuloa Training Area on the big island of Hawaii.

"From here, I want my Marines to leave with knowledge of the basics and to be prepared for further advanced training encompassing the whole battalion," he said. "Last Bougainville we only had the opportunity to do fire team level objectives. Now, we can do squad and platoon live-fires which is a big jump, but I believe my Marines can get it done."

Cpl. Aaron Yoshimura, a squad leader with 1st Platoon, Kilo Company, said this was a beneficial exercise for his new Marines to make mistakes and learn from them.

"There will always be discrepancies, nothing is ever perfect," he said. "From little things to big things, there is always room to improve. That's why we continue to train, to get better at everything we do."

Yoshimura said he hopes all the Marines absorb more than just weapon drills and training.

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