MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
A detachment of Marines and sailors from 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, joined forces with Marines and sailors from 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, based at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, to host members of the Singaporean Armed Forces and Japanese Ground Self Defense Force at Camp Pendleton Feb. 1 through 12.
The units hosted the foreign forces as part of Exercises Valiant Mark and Iron Fist, in order to increase the trilateral training exercises amongst all involved, said 1st Lt. C.D. Ferreira, the officer in charge of the 2/7 detachment.
In order to continue the development of an amphibious capability, the Japanese conducted training for their forces, while the SAF conducted mechanized, amphibious, urban, and interoperability operations.
During the training the Marines and sailors, along with their foreign allies, practiced embarking and disembarking the U.S.S. Cleveland in amphibious assault vehicles, conducted a joint assault of Camp Pendleton’s Military Operations in Urban Terrain facility with the SAF, viewed a presentation of optics by 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, took part in a practical application of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program , and helped JGSDF refine their defensive capabilities.
Cpl. Michael Martinez, a machine gun team leader with weapons platoon, Company F, 2/7, said the training allowed the warriors of the regiment to participate in a different kind of exercise that in his opinion reflected the original mission of the Corps.
“It’s always good to see the amphibious side of the Marine Corps,” said the San Bruno, Calif., native.
Master Warrant Officer Joe Tan, a company trainer with the SAF who was observing the exercise, said he found the joint venture very beneficial and would like to continue the trend of sharing knowledge and experience with the Corps.
Tan said it was good for members of the SAF to gain valuable experience being on a ship and practicing amphibious assaults, because it helps them acclimate to the rough conditions of the sea.
The SAF also benefited from the urban operations training. That environment sharpened their skills at capturing an urban objective he said.
Tan also was also very thankful for the Marines and sailors who participated in the event and helped make it a success.
Tan said he found the knowledge the devil dogs of 2/7 shared with him and his fellow soldiers about their recent deployment to Afghanistan was also very valuable.
Tan also explained how he was impressed with the well roundedness of each Marine.The fact that each Marine not only knew his own duties, but also those of the man to his left and right, as well as those of Marines senior to him, made them very effective he said.
Tan said it was important for SAF members to witness this because while warfighters of the SAF are taught to adopt this same mind-set in basic training, it is not as prevalent in the Singaporean forces as it is in the Corps.
“They are very versatile,” said Tan about the Marines of 2/7. “They are a special call of people.”
Marines and the SAF are slated to renew their friendship in mid-2009 when a second version of Valiant Mark is conducted in Singapore.