Sustainment training essential for proficiency

28 Aug 2002 | Gunnery Sgt. Michelle Smith

Not being able to conduct live- fire training shoots on Okinawa may appear to be a hindrance to mission accomplishment - but that's not the way the Marines of Romeo Battery, 5th Battalion, 10th Marines see it.

"We can't conduct live-fire training here but the Marines still get the training - we just have to go to other locations to do it," said Gunnery Sgt. Timothy A. Glidden, battery gunnery sergeant.

According to the Muncie, Indiana native, there are five training areas in the Pacific realm where live-fire training operations can be conducted.

"We recently returned from Ojojihara, Japan where the battery trained for 30 days.  In addition to the live-fire training the battery conducted (RSOP) Reconnaissance, Selection, Occupation and Position training (the art of moving from place to place), day and night convoys and various battery operations.

The battery's mission is to conduct continuous and accurate artillery fire for the maneuver element, so being proficient is important to mission accomplishment, Glidden said.

The Marines are currently gearing up for a live-fire shoot in Yausubetsu, Japan.

Being here provides a variety of training for the Marines, but it also provides the Marines with a cultural experience that would be hard to duplicate in the United States.

"Our Marines have been involved in cultural tours, home visits - where families open their homes to the Marines.  In return, we do static displays and friendship dinners where the Marines invite local families to eat in the dining facility," said Glidden.

"Training here help us learn to adapt to limitations that the various locations may bring," said Sgt. Mark E. Allen, Howitzer #4 section leader. 

Although live-fire training is hard to accomplish on island, the battery ensures the Marines conduct sustainment training to ensure the Marines stay proficient in their Military Occupational Specialty.