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Okinawa Marines in the Asia-Pacific region

Okinawa, Japan
Marines and Sailors aboard Camp Kinser host a Culture Exchange with members of the JGSDF’s 15th Brigade

By Lance Cpl. Danielle R. Prentice | Marine Corps Installations Pacific | November 27, 2017

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CAMP KINSER, OKINAWA, Japan -- style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;">Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force hosted members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s 15th Brigade during a cultural exchange Nov. 27 aboard Camp Kinser.

During the exchange, Marines and sailors demonstrated their military operational specialties, techniques from the Marine Corps Martial Art Program, and played sports with the JGSDF.

“This cultural exchange helps provide a better understanding of the different cultures and how we can better work with one another,” said Lt. Cmdr. Yoon Choi, a chaplain with CLR-35 3rd MLG, III MEF. “It highlights the importance of getting together and building relationships.”

Friendly games of basketball and volleyball helped everyone relax after a busy day and strengthened the newly formed relationships.

“My favorite activities were basketball and learning disarming techniques with the pistol,” said Leading Pvt. Abe Seira with Anti-Aircraft, Artillery Regiment, 15th Brigade, JGSDF. “I was amazed by how professional and technical the Marines were while they were fixing the radios and stuff. It was very interesting.”

After the friendly games, the service members took time to clean up and returned to the Kinser Fitness Center to take part in a MCMAP demonstration.

“Today was nice, we learned that the JGSDF’s days and operations are very similar to ours,” said Staff Sgt. Theophlius Bush II, a MCMAP instructor and warehouse clerk, with 3rd Support Battalion, CLR-35 3rd MLG, III MEF. “Overall today was a good experience, getting to know their operations, and showing them how things work here aboard Camp Kinser. It was great camaraderie, being able to join with the JGSDF for daily operations, followed by chow, having a sporting event, and later teaching them about our Marine Corps history and the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.”

JGSDF members were encouraged to learn and practice their English throughout the event. Despite the language gap, both sides had fun learning from each other and building relationships.

“It has been very fun today,” said Sgt. 1st Class Daisuke Teramoto with First Company 51st Infantry Regiment, 15th Brigade, JGSDF. “I live on Camp Naha, so it’s very interesting to spend time with the U.S. forces. I had a lot of fun playing basketball. I would like to return and do this again.”
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