Photo Information

Marines, with 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, observe a live fire exercise during Exercise Iron Fist here Feb. 27. Marines, with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and soldiers, with the Japanese Western Army Infantry Regiment, are participating in the bilateral training designed to enhance the services interoperability.

Photo by Cpl. Elyssa Quesada

Supremacy of air, land, sea

27 Feb 2011 | Cpl. Elyssa Quesada

Marines and sailors took part in a five-day supporting-arms live-fire exercise during Exercise Iron Fist here Feb. 27.

The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and several Southern California based units are participating in Exercise Iron Fist, a bilateral training exercise designed to build on existing amphibious capabilities and enhance the interoperability between the U.S. and Japanese militaries.

The live-fire exercise involved a variety of weapons and techniques to increase operational proficiency.

Marines with 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, or Anglico, called in live ammunition strikes to a designated range on the island and artillery emplaced by Battery K, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines, on a nearby hill took aim at the impact area and unloaded an assortment of munitions.

USS Howard provided naval surface fire support off the coast and aircraft with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 and Marine Attack Squadron 214 secured the skies to make the exercise a true combined-arms live-fire evolution.

“I enjoy my job a lot,” said Sgt. Jason D. Noel, 23, a radio operator with 1st Anglico. “I’ve been able to use different radios and be a forward observer for the unit.”

Noel relayed numerous fire missions from his team leader to the artillery battery.

Noel said working together in the field builds camaraderie and enables each Marine to excel at his specific job.

The Navy and Marine Corps team expended ordnance ranging from rockets and bombs to 7.62 mm, .50 caliber and 20 mm machine-gun rounds.

“I think it’s been a valuable experience for all,” said Capt. Devaunt Z. LeClaire, 34, a platoon commander with Anglico. “This training for my Marines has been outstanding.”

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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit