U.S. ARMY GARRISON CASEY, South Korea –
More than 90 Marines and sailors with III Marine Expeditionary Force Support Battalion, III MEF Information Group, started their Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation in South Korea during Bushido Strike 2023 from Jan. 28 to Feb. 28, 2023.
III MSB provides and coordinates direct combat service support, security and administrative services to the III Marine Expeditionary Force, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and III MEF Information Group to sustain command and control of Marine Air-Ground Task Force operations. III MSB will conduct their MCCRE to validate its mission essential tasks as they pertain to combat readiness.
“Our job as a MSB is to allow the MEF to win in combat and what that means is we do all of the stuff to free them up so all they have to do is focus on the mission,” said Maj. Kevin Jones, the site commander.
The Marines and sailors will participate in a series of training events related to the unit’s evaluation such as cold weather training, pistol and rifle ranges, mounted live-fire convoys, a combat lifesaver course and a series of professional military education classes.
The harsh winter conditions and dynamic terrain in South Korea add a higher level of complexity. The temperatures average 30 degrees Fahrenheit in February. During training, temperatures are expected to be as low as 8 degrees with a windchill factor of 1 degree below zero. However, those Marines experiencing this austere environment for the first time expressed that the opportunity is exciting, regardless of weather.
“I'm very excited to shoot the machine guns,” said Cpl. Priscilla Pereyra, a supply administrator with III MSB.
Representing nine sections, MSB Marines appreciate a chance to train on the Korean Peninsula. Alongside South Korea, the United States is committed to providing security, stability and prosperity and deterring external threats in the region.
“I think [training near the DMZ] says that we’re always ready,” said Lance Cpl. Andres Gonzalez, an administrative specialist with III MSB. “To do it on the border, it takes a lot of courage and it gives all of the Marines here a feeling of seriousness.”
Being professionals at their craft is not enough for the MSB Marines and sailors. They brave the frost for an opportunity to test their mettle and warfighting skills. They must be combat-ready.
“The Marines at MSB are special because they come out here and they’re actually excited to train,” said Jones. “I hope what they get out of this is that they don’t have to be a varsity-level infantry unit to be able to train correctly. You just have to teach it well, you have to practice it right, and, with these Marines, all that is very easy because they actually want to do that.”