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3d Marine Division

The Fighting Third

Okinawa, Japan
MARFORPAC CG tours PTA, observes Exercise Bougainville II

By Lance Cpl. Luke Kuennen | 3rd Marine Regiment | August 29, 2017

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The commanding general of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Lt. Gen. David Berger, toured Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, Aug. 21, 2017.
Berger, along with a party of senior leadership of 3rd Marine Regiment and supporting elements, met with various units participating in Exercise Bougainville II, a ground combat element-led exercise supported by other Marine Corps Air-Ground Task Force elements and other service forces.
After landing at Bradshaw Army Airstrip, Berger shared lunch with Marines with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367.
“I think that it’s great that the general can come and talk to us,” said Lance Cpl. Zachary Tyler, an airframe hydraulics mechanic with HMLA 367. “It’s really cool to have a general settle down and eat some chow with us, and ask us how the maintenance department is running.”
Berger shared a Meal, Ready-To-Eat with Tyler and other young Marines in his unit, discussing ideas for making their section more efficient.
“We appreciate him taking our opinion,” said Tyler. “He really listened to what is going on and what can be better at our level.”
Berger also visited Bougainville II’s forward arming and refueling point, where he was guided by Cpl. Christian Warren, a bulk fuel specialist with Marine Wing Support Detachment 24.
“He was very inquisitive,” said Warren. “You could tell he did his research before he came out here.”
Warren was impressed by Berger’s knowledge of their operations.
“General Berger asked me what the resistance of our fuel tank’s grounding system is,” said Warren with a laugh. “I knew it; it’s 10,000 ohms, but I was still nervous. It felt like a quiz.”
The next stop was Observation Post Kailua, where Berger met with U.S. Army officials and discussed joint operations on PTA. Afterwards, the tour made its final stop of the day at LSA, where Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment was camped.
“General Berger came out, and Marines in the company had an opportunity to sit down and have some field chow with him,” said Capt. Gerard Marin, the company commander of Lima Co. “It was a great chance for them to talk with him about the future of the Marine Corps.”
Berger led an open forum with the Marines of Lima Co., answering questions from a variety of subjects.
“We talked about the future of the infantry squad, fire teams, and how new weapon systems will be implemented,” Marin said. “We also got into the topic of MARFORPAC and our bigger mission.”
The visit benefited Lima Co. on all levels, Marin said.
“Once the Marines got over the initial shock of meeting a three-star general, they got a chance to ask him questions,” Marin said. “It helped them understand their part as Marines, and the impact that they have, not only in this company, but across the area of operations.”
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