This recent anti-terrorism drill falls short, in my opinion

On the one hand, I’m glad to see the anti-terrorism drill below, which took place on a Marine base in Okinawa.

The training is needed, and this drill happened even before the attack on the French newspaper.

But at the same time, I’m beyond NOT impressed with what I see.

In my humble opinion, these guys are far too lightly armed, serious security barriers/fortifications are lacking, and it’s clear even from the interview that there aren’t many of these joint training ops happening. (The Japanese security guard says he hopes they’ll do more…)

Watch the video and give me your take.

Maybe I’m being too harsh/old school, but I want to know what their plan is for when a van load — or two van loads — of guys bust through the gate, all heavily armed. As most prior service members know, almost everyone on a military base is unarmed, so the carnage would be disastrous.

Respectfully, Marine leadership, I think you guys need to step it up before you get a lot of folks killed.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things American foreign policy, national security, and all things Marine Corps.


6 thoughts on “This recent anti-terrorism drill falls short, in my opinion

  1. The risk of an attack occuring in Japan would be considerably lower than almost any other part of the world. The Japanese have an almost subservient like culture and a tiny population of religions most associated with terrorism.

    You’re right though. The Captain named 3 phone calls they’d need to make before any kind of armed response could be launched. Thats ridiculous.

    Another thing, if you noticed when he was talking about reporting a potential threat a phone rang. If guards at the gate need to dial a telephone to report an incident thats a massive security hole. Theres no type of training that could make up for it.


  2. Stan I see what you saw, too lightly armed. Now in Paris the two gun men armed with one AK 47 and a pump action shotgun had the French police out gunned from the start. This is a country where no citizen can have a gun, and even some police don’t carry guns.


    • Agree, Bruce. Too lightly armed, even in a country where citizens don’t have guns.

      To me, it’s not outside the realm of possibility to launch some rubber assault boat from a freighter. The freighter could launch heavily armed men with weapons purchased from some country where it’s easy to obtain weapons — oh, say, Afghanistan.

      There’s just no reason these guards — and a good platoon- or company-sized element of Marines — shouldn’t be heavily armed, with assault vests, helmets, and full battle gear.

      Yes, it may be intimidating to the home country of Okinawa and its people, but we live in a different world these days.


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