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3d Marine Division

The Fighting Third

Okinawa, Japan
The silent over watch: JGSDF, Marines fire snipers at Forest Light 16-1

By Cpl. Devon Tindle | III Marine Expeditionary Force | September 16, 2015


Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force Members and U.S. Marines fired sniper rifles and practiced stalking techniques during Forest Light 16-1 at Camp Imazu, Takashima, Japan, Sept. 9-11, 2015.

 Forest Light is a semiannual, bilateral exercise consisting of a command post exercise and multiple field training events, conducted by elements of III Marine Expeditionary Force and the JGSDF.

In the training the JGSDF received from the Marines the JGSDF learned about concealment and stalking, according to JGSDF Sgt. Akito Yagi, a sniper with 50th Infantry Regiment, 14th Brigade.

“We learned a lot from the USMC, and we are grateful for the generosity they show towards us,” said Yagi. “They came here and showed us more in depth bout how to conceal ourselves, how to get closer to the enemy by stalking a target, and breath control for long distance shots on the range.”

Coming to other countries helps the sniper unit become familiar with how other countries perform sniper techniques, according to Lance Cpl. Kyle Frey, a sniper with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

“There is always room to advance, so learning from other people and how they conduct training is a huge benefit to us and our training,” said Frey, from Elverson, Pennsylvania. 

Friendships have been made between the snipers of both countries, according to Frey.

“Coming out to the range is always fun, the JGSDF are very proficient at how they shoot, and we got to shoot beside them and have a little bit of a friendly competition,” said Frey. “It’s been really fun, and I hope I get to come back and train with such great people again.”