MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
MWSS-171 took seven vehicles through the convoy simulation, evaluated by the coyotes of the Tactical Training Exercise Control Group. The service members practiced improvised explosive device detection, ambush reaction and casualty evacuation during the course.
“We practiced a lot of scenarios we would likely see in a combat situation,” said Sgt. Yuriy Stepanov, platoon sergeant, Motor Transport Company, MWSS-171. “We practiced our tactics, techniques and procedures to ensure we do what we need to when something like an IED happens.”
For many in MWSS-171, this is their first time coming to the Combat Center for ITX. This is the first time that a squadron from Japan has come here for ITX training.
The unit had the assistance of TTECG coyotes during this exercise in their training package. The coyotes help add pressure to the exercise and throw more real-world scenarios into the training.
“This is really a rare opportunity for us,” said Lt. Col. Howard Eyth, commanding officer, MWSS-171. “The chance to take an entire squadron from Japan and take them to California to train here is few and far between. We know how fortunate we are and we’re taking full advantage of the venue.”
MWSS-171 provides aviation-ground support for Marine Aircraft Group 12 and the air-combat element training in ITX. The unit’s training here covers a broad spectrum of operations.
They provide ground logistics like motor transport and bulk refueling. They make sure the ACE has everything they need for the fight.
MWSS-171’s training at the Combat Center keeps their skills sharp. Although the unit is not scheduled to deploy, it is important for them to always be at the ready.
“They understand just how valuable this training is,” Eyth said.” We would not have been able to do this back in Iwakuni. But this opportunity goes way past just training. It really gives the Marines a chance to get their knowledge and bond as a unit.”
The unit is finishing up their training at the Combat Center. They are scheduled to return home to Japan at the conclusion of their training on Sept. 26.