CAMP COURTNEY, OKINAWA, Japan  — As the cool rain fell upon the Marines, the tents arose around them. They sprang up like weeds in an unattended garden. The once-barren ground started to look like a small village.

Twenty-five Marines set up tents to practice establishing a command operations center and living quarters during Exercise Command and Control on Camp Courtney Nov. 1.

The Marines are part of Headquarters Battalion and Combat Assault Battalion, both with 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

“We are conducting a five-phase (command and control) exercise,” said Master Sgt. Cortez L. Pree, the 3rd MarDiv operations chief. “We are currently in the third phase, where the main command operations center is being established in a tactical place.”

The first phase of the exercise included determining the location of the exercise and inspecting equipment. During the second part of the exercise, the Marines moved all required equipment out to the site.

The fourth phase will involve training using communication equipment in the tents, and during the fifth phase, Marines will remove and return the equipment to appropriate staging locations in preparation for future exercises.

This training is designed to help prepare the division for their upcoming exercises Yama Sakura-61, on Okinawa and in mainland Japan, and Balikatan, in the Republic of Philippines, Pree said.

According to Pree, the third phase includes support from a representative of the Hunter Defense Technology, the manufacturer of the tents. The representative gave instruction on setting up and maintaining the tents.

The exercise teaches the Marines how to set up the main and forward command operations centers in a tactical environment, Pree said.

“The tents that we (set up were) the 303, 305 and dome tents,” said Herbert Vega, who is in charge of HDT’s support and training throughout the Pacific region.

According to Vega, the tents are designed for rapid deployment. They can be easily assembled and disassembled set up and taken down in roughly eight minutes. The tents are made without separate poles or small, disconnected pieces that could get lost.

“All the Marines have to do is take it out of the bag, pull the legs out, then stake it down,” said Vega.

“The Marines can easily set up, live and operate out of these tents,” he added.

After successfully erecting the tents, the Marines conducted additional communication training prior to completion of their training.

This training helps to ensure the Marines are ready and prepared for their future deployments, said Pree.