OKINAWA, Japan -- Soldiers from Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment and Marines with the Marine Air Support Squadron 2 partnered together in Okinawa, Japan in a two-week exchange program from March 19-30.
Both 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment and Marine Air Support Squadron 2 serve important roles in protecting the island of Okinawa air space from aerial threats. Building a strong working relationship now will help to create a more cohesive and unified front across the joint forces and will allow both 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment and Marine Air Support Squadron 2 to not only better cooperate in an extremely diverse battlefield, but to accomplish their missions together on a multi-domain operations.
The exchange program integrated two Marine corporals from Marine Air Support Squadron 2 to the formation of Bravo Battery to learn and have a better understanding of the unit's mission.
Marines Cpl. Jacob Collins and Cpl. Paul Harris embedded with Bravo Battery's fire control and launcher platoon to work side by side with Soldiers. The exchange program offered the two Marines an opportunity to see how the air defense Soldiers conduct business on the daily basis.
"Working together with our sister service [Army] is a great experience to see first-hand how they train and conduct day-to-day operations," said Harris.
The exchange program offered the Marines a rare opportunity to get up and close with the Patriot Missile System.
"To see and learn about the Patriot missile system capabilities was a great experience to see first hand," said Harris. "I trained alongside with the Soldiers to certify as part of the reload crew on both forklift and guided missile transporter."
Collins, a Marine communication specialist, worked closely with the fire control platoon.
"As a communication specialist this opportunity afforded me the chance to understand how the Army conducts and maintain their communication systems," he said.
As a communication specialist, working alongside Bravo Battery communication personnel proved beneficial to both groups.
"There are a lot of similarities in the way we preform our missions," said Collins. "The ability to communicate is an integral role when interlinking our communication systems.
"This is particularly important for both branches moving forward as it increases our ability to work together as a team to project combat power and accomplish our missions," he continued.
The Marines concluded their two-week training as honorary members of Bravo Battery. Leaders hope that these exchanges foster the beginning of a long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship between 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment and Marine Air Support Squadron 2.