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MCIPAC Communication Strategy and Operations

Okinawa Marines in the Asia-Pacific region

Okinawa, Japan
Ie Shima Training Facility Crash Fire Rescue Marines assist in fighting farm fire

By Sgt. Jessica Collins | Marine Corps Installations Pacific | July 18, 2018

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan – Marines stand ready to answer calls for help 24/7. Ie Shima Training Facility’s Crash Fire Rescue Marines answered the call July 14 when the Ie Village Fire Department asked for assistance extinguishing a farm fire.
The Marines rushed to the scene and leapt into action.
“When something like this happens, the training takes over,” said Sgt. Cody Harbst an aircraft rescue and firefighting specialist with Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. “In the moment, there are so many things happening at once. The training I've had made it second nature so I didn’t have to stop and think about what to do. My main concern was with containment and keeping everyone safe.”
It took the Marines and firefighters working in tandem for over two hours to put out the fire.
“It was a great experience working with the local firefighters,” said Harbst, a Candor, New York, native. “The respect was mutual and the main effort was to get the job done. With a slight language barrier, it was a little tougher but overall working together went smoothly. Fire is universal and as firefighters we all knew what needed to be done to accomplish the mission.”
The Ie Village Mayor, Hideyuki Shimabukuro, personally thanked the Marines for their efforts at the farm.
“It was a great honor to have the Mayor of Ie Shima thank me and my crew personally,” said Harbst. “Recognition like that helps us feel appreciated and reminds us we provide a vital role to both the Marine Corps and the community here on Okinawa.”