MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
Marine Attack Squadron 311 held a Jane Wayne Day Nov. 7 here to exhibit different Marine activities to their spouses.
Approximately 25 Marine spouses attended the day-long event.
Jane Wayne Day is an annual event in the Marine Corps where spouses are able to experience first hand what their loved ones do on a day-to-day basis.
“Jane Wayne Day is important because it gives the wife’s an opportunity to interact with each other before our deployment (next spring). It is good to see and do what the husbands do and it builds their camaraderie as well,” said Sgt. Maj. Richard Miller, VMA-311 sergeant major.
“My intention is to conduct a safe and enjoyable day for all of you, and that you all leave with a memorable experience,” said Lt. Col. Robert Sofge, VMA-311 commanding officer.
After Sofge’s introduction, the wives were bused to the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program pit at Ramada Field.
Under VMA-311 ordnance chief, Master Sgt. Shaun Lawrence’s instruction the wives screamed motivating war cries throughout the MCMAP training.
Lawrence taught all the basic tan and gray MCMAP belt moves to the spouses before giving a special lesson. Lawrence demonstrated an arm bar submission technique where the spouses start in a vulnerable position but use it to their advantage.
“Although this arm bar is not in the MCMAP program, it is a good defensive measure against rape,” said Lawrence.
Keeping with the authenticity of the training, Lawrence finished the MCMAP session with an instructional period on sexual harassment as well as a warrior study detailing the the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.
From there the group moved to the obstacle course, where the wives displayed their agility and speed.
“I loved the obstacle course because I liked the challenge and I think I did well,” said Aimee Regehr, wife of Lance Cpl. Samuel Regehr, VMA-311 ordnance technician.
After an impressive cycle by the wives, Miller challenged all the Marines in attendance to see if they could do better than their counterparts. Sofge, Miller and the rest of the Marines showcased their talents, motivating the wives, before proceeding to the next event.
“Where is the war paint? Can I use mascara as war paint? I’ll paint my face right now,” said Jessica Francis, wife of Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Francis, VMA-311 airframes division work center supervisor, during the ride to the rifle ranges.
At the range, Jenny Grippe, wife of Lance Cpl. Daniel Grippe, VMA-311 avionics technician, shot seven bullets in the black with the M-16A2 her first time firing a weapon.
“This is great, now she can come out with me and shoot on the weekends,” said Daniel.
From there, the group headed to the pistol range to learn how to eat Meal-Ready-to-Eats.
Husbands showed their wives how to heat their food and the wives took it upon themselves to swap MRE items.
After they were done eating, marksmanship instructors taught the spouses the basics of pistol shooting.
The top marksman with the pistol was Adrienne Sofge, wife of the commanding officer; however, Adrienne enjoyed the rifle range more.
“It felt good to shoot a rifle again, I haven’t shot a rifle in at least 20 years,” said the former sailor.
After the pistol range the wives headed to Auxiliary Airfield 2.
Sofge explained the specifics of the airfield and how it is used for training before showing spouses the proper arm signals to launch an AV-8B Harrier.
It was evident that the Harrier display was popular when the buses were loaded as Marines and their spouses watched videos of the landings on their cameras.
The event concluded with a visit to Yodaville, a mock training city southeast of the station, to watch Harriers shoot flares and drop ordnance on selected targets in the town, which is based on Iraqi villages.
The day ended at the VMA-311’s hangar, where all those in attendance socialized and talked about the day’s events.