Texas Guard Unit Explodes Ordnance
October 20, 2011
Kita-Fuji Training Area, Japan -- Soldiers with the Texas National Guard trained with live explosives as Japanese members watched and learned how to use M18A1 claymore mines during "Orient Shield 11" at the demolition range at Kita-Fuji Training Area in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, Oct. 13.
The bilateral training exercise consists of Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, out of Weslaco, Texas, and the 1st Division, Eastern Army, Joint Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSFD) from Oct.
The claymore mine training is being conducted between the two forces to help mutual relations, said Sgt. Carlos Vargascastro, a native of Dawna, Texas, and a team leader for 1st platoon with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment out of Weslaco, Texas.
"I hope they learn from us and we learn from them too," said Vargascastro.
He said he hopes the military is making a difference to the JGSDF because that is why they are here, to help each other out with all military training.
Spc. Jason R. Tosto, a Houston, Texas, native, and a team leader with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, out of Houston, said the training consists of showing the Japanese members how to set up and detonate the claymore mines. He said they also showed how efficient the claymore mines are when it comes across unarmored personnel within a close proximity.
"Japanese (members) are very friendly and they like to come up to us and ask us a lot of questions," said Tosto. "They are very polite and hospitable."
Claymore mines is just one exercise Orient Shield 11 is conducting between U.S. Army and the JGSDF, which allows the forces to strengthen military operations through bilateral planning, coordination, and interoperability.