JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- What seemed to be a normal week at the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, turned out to be a little different as green, beige and black camouflage contrasted sharply with the Army Combat Uniform normally seen around the brigade area.
In the contrasting uniform was Master Gunnery Sgt. Jon Lines, a chief from the intelligence section of the 3rd Marine Division out of Okinawa, Japan.
Lines hopes to provide insight, experience and knowledge as part of an ongoing exchange between intelligence professionals from the two branches.
"He's here basically conducting a site survey to see how we operate as a unit," said Army Master Sgt. Jason Roach, an intelligence analyst with the brigade's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, and Lines' main liaison with the Spartan Brigade. "We here want to afford him every opportunity to experience everything our unit has to offer and what all types of operations we conduct on a day-to-day basis."
"We're trying to formalize the relationship and keep contact," Lines said. "We do the analyst exchange, then we will always have a foot in each other's camp to better support each other and understand how each service operates.
That's what we are building."
Roach and Lines spent countless hours together going through Roach's daily schedule, and mentored younger Soldiers during a noncommissioned-officer development program briefing March 4.
"This week he's been here trying to establish an exchange for his analysts to come here and work at our brigade," Roach explained, noting the Spartans will also be sending intelligence personnel to the 3rd Marine Division.
The trip to Alaska provided Lines an opportunity to do what Spartans do best; he participated in a jump with Roach March 5.
Lines said he hadn't jumped since 1986, but after Basic Airborne Refresher training at the Airborne Sustainment Training Area on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, he was ready to jump again.
"My first jump in 29 years!" Lines said. "My last jump was with the 82nd Airborne Division, with the 3rd Battalion, 73rd Armor."
The refresher training helped Lines make a successful, injury-free jump out of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.
"It brought back a lot of memories," Lines said. "I was amazed about what I did remember - and watching some of the new kids fresh out of Airborne School kind of boosted my confidence."
"People have to be well trained and rely on muscle memory to get through it," Roach said. "So that refresher training we go through basically brings back that muscle memory we all develop in Airborne School, no matter if it was 10 years ago, 20 years ago."
Working together - whether in the sky or filing a report - builds bridges.
Lines said if more elements of his division take part in the exchange program, it will further benefit both services.
"When the units work together, it will build a bigger understanding of all operations," he said.
For his part, Roach will soon travel to Okinawa, where he will visit the Marines and learn about their operations in a site survey of his own.