CAMP GONSALVES, Okinawa, Japan, –
Quiet rustles and murmurs filtered through the trees as the camp woke up, dew rolling off camouflaged tents as Marines of 3rd Marine Logistics Group took their first steps into the brisk morning air.
Since 1958, Camp Gonsalves has been the jungle warfare training grounds for Marines worldwide. Communications Company, Headquarters Regiment, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, completed the grueling Basic Jungle Skills Course (BJSC), which teaches basic combat skills while in a jungle environment, Feb. 16, 2018. As logistics Marines, this training is important for teaching them how to properly augment the infantry.
“We’re in a jungle environment, which you are not going to experience anywhere else in the world,” said First Sgt. Thomas W. Tabisz, the company first sergeant for Comm. Co., HQ Reg. “This training helps break up the everyday monotony of the operations we do back on base.”
During BJSC, Marines practice basic skills learned during recruit training and Marine Combat Training and expound on them, including rappelling, knot tying, patrolling and land navigation.
“This training gets us back to our true north as far as our warrior ethos, the camaraderie, that espirit de corps that you can build here, that unit cohesion that only happens in an environment like this,” said Maj. Brian Kerg, the company commander for Comm. Co., HQ Reg.
Kerg said the BJSC prepares them to train and operate in many of the environments in III Marine Expeditionary Force’s area of operations. Also, BJSC inspires and motivates many of the Marines by bringing them back to their warfighting basics.
“Nobody’s motivated to join the Marine Corps to do inventories, inspection layouts and paperwork,” Kerg said. “That’s not what drew all of these Marines out here and inspired them to be a part of this gun club. It was doing these basic Marine things, it’s crawling through the mud, it’s overcoming adversity with the best, with their brothers and sisters. This is what gives them that opportunity, out here at the Jungle Warfare Training Center.”
True to form, the Marines were excited and ready to take on the Endurance Course.
“I’m motivated, I’m ready to go, this is what I was waiting for throughout this training,” said Lance Cpl. Daron Bush, a network administrator with Comm. Co., HQ Reg., 3rd MLG.
The culminating event of BJSC is spent running the E-Course, a 3.8-mile course consisting of obstacles such as hasty rappelling, rope walks, commando crawls, river runs, wall climbs and cargo net climbs. At the end of the course the teams, consisting of no fewer than 12 members, must complete a casualty evacuation though the grueling jungle course.
“I have definitely gained some trust for my coworkers,” said Bush. “I feel like Comm. Co., and other units who have been through this training, really gain unit cohesion by just being together through this course.”